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For years, fishermen from Gloucester to New Bedford have accused the federal government of relying on faulty science to assess the health of the region’s cod population, a fundamental flaw that has greatly exaggerated its demise, they say, and led officials to wrongly ban nearly all fishing of the iconic species. The fishermen’s concerns resonated with Governor Charlie Baker, so last year he commissioned his own survey of the waters off New England, where cod were once so abundant that fishermen would say they could walk across the Atlantic on their backs.
Fisheries managers have been predicting a slightly below-average run of spring Chinook salmon on the Columbia River this year but a newly published suggests that it may be worse.
Diners piling their leftovers into to-go boxes isn’t an unusual sight at a Los Angeles sushi bar, but for the last few years, some of those leftover slices of raw fish wound up in the most unexpected of settings: UCLA classrooms. Over the course of four years, undergraduate students taking a course called Introduction to Marine Science took nearly 400 pieces of sushi from 26 LA sushi restaurants back to the lab. Their goal? To see if the fish they were being sold was truly the fish they were being served.
POINT JUDITH, R.I. — There was a time when whiting were plentiful in the waters of Rhode Island Sound, and Christopher Brown pulled the fish into his long stern trawler by the bucketful. “We used to come right here and catch two, three, four thousand pounds a day, sometimes 10,” he said, sitting at the wheel of the Proud Mary — a 44-footer named, he said, after his wife, not the Creedence Clearwater Revival song — as it cruised out to sea.
New restrictions on U.S. seafood imports, which will require seafood to be harvested in accordance with the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), will likely offer significant marine conservation benefits on a global scale. In this Policy Forum, Rob Williams et al. highlight the impacts and challenges involved in this endeavor. The U.S. is the largest importer of seafood in the world, accepting marine catches from more than 120 countries. Best case scenario, countries will comply and marine species will benefit from improved protection. Worst case, countries could suffer economically from not being able to export to the US, and/or choose not to comply.
Seaweed-eating fish are becoming increasingly voracious as the ocean warms due to climate change and are responsible for the recent destruction of kelp forests off the NSW north coast near Coffs Harbour, research shows. The study includes an analysis of underwater video, covering a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012, during which the water warmed by 0.6 degrees. “Kelp forests provide vital habitat for hundreds of marine species, including fish, lobster and abalone,” says study first author Dr Adriana Vergés of UNSW and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.
Scientists closely tracking the survival of endangered Sacramento River salmon faced a puzzle: the same high temperatures that salmon eggs survived in the laboratory appeared to kill many of the eggs in the river. Now the scientists from NOAA Fisheries and the University of California at Santa Cruz have resolved the puzzle, realizing new insights into how egg size and water flow affect the survival of egg-laying fish. The larger the eggs, they found, the greater the water flow they need to supply them with oxygen and carry away waste. The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters. NOAA Fisheries is using the findings to improve protection of fish in the Sacramento River.
As panic spreads, an entire shoal (collective) of fish responds to an incoming threat in a matter of seconds, seemingly as a single body, to change course and evade a threatening predator. Within those few seconds, the panic-infused information – more technically known as the startle response – spreads through the collective, warning fish within the group that would otherwise have no way to detect such a threat. The ways in which this information spreads and the role played by position dynamics may help us better plan for emergencies.
Incentives that are designed to enable smarter use of the ocean while also protecting marine ecosystems can and do work, and offer significant hope to help address the multiple environmental threats facing the world’s oceans, researchers conclude in a new analysis. Whether economic or social, incentive-based solutions may be one of the best options for progress in reducing impacts from overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution, researchers from Oregon State University and Princeton University say in a new report published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists say the giant manta ray, known as a gentle leviathan, is in fact a “predator of the deep” preying on fish and other animals. The ray, which can grow up to 7m (23ft) across, was thought to feed on tiny floating animals at the surface. New evidence shows much of the ray’s diet is made up of food from the deep. The finding raises questions about the future of the giant manta ray, which is listed as a vulnerable species.
Acidification of the world’s oceans could drive a cascading loss of biodiversity in some marine habitats, according to research published Monday in Nature Climate Change. The work by biodiversity researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, combines dozens of existing studies to paint a more nuanced picture of the impact of ocean acidification.