Tag Archives: marine-science
The argument persists that the continued overexploitation by many fisheries around the world is evidence that current approaches to fisheries management are failing, and that more precautionary management approaches are needed. We review the available estimates of the status of fish stocks from three sources: Read more here 11:31
Bucking conventional wisdom, researchers find black sea bass tougher than expected – discard mortality rates
The researchers had put the fish in the experimental group into one of four categories: those without visible injury; those with visible barotrauma; those with hook trauma (meaning the hook had caused significant internal injury); and “floaters” – those that couldn’t swim down into the water at all. To their surprise, the researchers found that approximately 90 percent of the fish,, Read more here phys.org 09:57
Earlier this year, a research team from Spain released a surprising new estimate of mesopelagic fish biomass that is 10 times greater than previous estimates. This new study raises the total estimated biomass of mesopelagic fish from 1 billion tons to 10 billion tons, accounting for 95% of all fish biomass. Read more here southernfriedscience 18:35
“The reason the project came about was because, in 2010, some Canadian scientists wrote a paper that suggested that the phytoplankton in the world’s oceans had declined by 40% since the 1950’s,” explained project leader Richard Kirby, a research fellow at Plymouth University’s Marine Institute. Read more here bbc.com 15:46
The key to clean water and sustainable fisheries is to follow nine guiding principles of water management, says a team of Canadian biologists. Read [email protected] 10:40
Low prices for wild-caught cod have kept cod farming profits minimal up to now. The additional challenges of expensive feeds, destructive diseases and high mortality have also proven difficult to solve. On the disease front, Norwegian researchers showed in 2011 that the cod immune system is very unlike that of other production fish such as salmon. Read [email protected] 10:06
An international team of scientists predict seafloor dwelling marine life will decline by up to 38 per cent in the North Atlantic and over five per cent globally over the next century. These changes will be driven by a reduction in the plants and animals that live at the surface of the oceans that feed deep-sea communities. As a result, ecosystem services such as fishing will be threatened. Read [email protected] 11:13
Now We’re Talkin’! – Assessing the potential of calcium-based artificial ocean alkalinization to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification
Enhancement of ocean alkalinity using Calcium-compounds, e.g. lime has been proposed to mitigate further increase of atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. [email protected] 10:13
The 42-foot-wide net was set in the rolling waters of Long Island Sound, about 150 feet behind the research vessel John Dempsey. “All right, we’re fishing,” announced Jacqueline Benway, a state fisheries biologist with Connecticut, as she shut off the hydraulics controlling the large funnel-shaped net. [email protected] 10:13
Dr. Les Kaufman, a marine ecologist at Boston University, has been deploying his considerable talents in the service of fisheries science and management for over three decades, but it is in the last year that he has developed an approach that very well may elevate our ability to manage fisheries onto a new level. [email protected] 17:31
In northwest Mexico, the biggest part of the fishery production is based in few species such as sardine, squid, tuna and shrimp. However, the Center of Biological Research of the Northwest (CIBNOR) has identified new marine species capable of increasing the volume of this production. [email protected] 15:14
Killifish are not usually big eaters. But in warmer waters, at temperatures projected for the future by climate scientists, their metabolism — and their appetites — go up, which is not a good thing if there are toxins in their food. [email protected] Research Article: Experimental and Natural Warming Elevates Mercury Concentrations in Estuarine Fish @plosone.org 10:13
“That boat is right where we want to be,” Rock said, glancing down at his GPS screen and pointing to where a big fish dragger, with long mantislike stabilizer arms spread wide, towed a net right through the area where the torpedo-shaped glider should be waiting for them. [email protected] 10:49
New research from the University of East Anglia shows that rising ocean temperatures will upset natural cycles of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and phosphorus. Plankton plays an important role in the ocean’s carbon cycle by removing half of all CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and storing it deep under the sea — isolated from the atmosphere for centuries. [email protected] 09:34
“Plankton” is a term that comes from the Greek meaning “wanderer” and was coined to describe any organism that doesn’t have the ability to swim against the water current. So, technically, even some very large animals like jellies are members of the plankton, but most planktonic organisms are very small, and as the title suggests, the best things come in small packages. [email protected] 16:26
Being able to predict future phytoplankton blooms, ocean temperatures and low-oxygen events could help fisheries managers,” said Samantha Siedlecki, a research scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean. [email protected] 10:37
The radio signals that are the backbone of traditional GPS cannot pass through seawater. But sound travels remarkably well, so scientists often use acoustic telemetry to estimate an individual fish’s location. That means attaching an acoustic transmitter to a fish and then using a network of stationary underwater listening stations to monitor for the short clicking sounds that these tags emit. When a fish swims near to a receiver, its click is heard, and its individual code number is recorded. [email protected] 07:22
Species that depend on the sea are reacting more quickly to global warming than land-based life, according to a study in scientific journal Nature Climate Change, with implications for fisheries and food supplies. @bloomberg
Fish ear bones, also known as otoliths, are like tree rings for the ocean. A layer of calcium carbonate laid down each year offers a snapshot of both the fish’s yearly growth and its surrounding ocean conditions. [email protected]
Now researchers from the University of East Anglia have helped to compile the first ever global atlas of marine plankton – published today in a special issue of the journal Earth System Science Data. [email protected]
Should scientists avoid publishing shark migration data because it helps fishermen? (The environmental activists are a bit paranoid, me thinks.)
Spoiler: No. In recent weeks, some conservation activists have been promoting an idea that I would like to respond to as a member of the scientific community. They claim that scientists shouldn’t publish data about shark migrations, movement, or population dynamics because such data helps fishermen to find areas where there are lots of sharks and kill them. This misguided anti-science paranoia demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about how conservation policy works. [email protected]
Imagine you have a business.
You’re not breaking any laws and its something your family have been doing for hundreds of years. Your whole community has been doing it and whole cultures, traditions, music, stories and clothes have evolve around it. Industries have thrived on your products. Your product is gluten free, contains no additives, has a low carbon cost, doesn’t involve ploughing and transforming the land and gives us beautiful food that kings and commoners alike adore. continued
In depth article: Climate Change Impacts Ripple Through Fishing Industry While Ocean Science Lags Behind
Huffington Post – With a limberness that defies his 69 years, Frank Mirarchi heaves himself over the edge of a concrete wharf and steps out onto a slack, downward sloping dock line bouncing 20 feet above the lapping waters near Scituate, Mass. continued
savingseafood.org – Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, whose work in developing the SMAST Scallop Video Survey was essential to transforming scallop surveys in the 1990s, is collaborating again with the fishing industry, NOAA Fisheries, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, SIMRAD, and his colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) to improve groundfish and flat fish stock surveys using video data collection. This new method shows promise to improve accuracy by increasing spatial coverage and to allow the conducting of surveys without fish mortality. continued
In her resignation email Lubchenco made the gravity-defying claim that she had made “notable progress” in “ending overfishing, rebuilding depleted stocks, and returning fishing to profitability”; but soon after, John Bullard “In an interview at the Times, Bullard said the telling figure was that the fleet caught only 54 percent of the allowed catch in 2012, and reasoned from that statistic that there is a dearth of inshore cod, a situation that warrants serious action to reverse.” Richard Gaines March 8, 2013 Gloucester Daily Times, “NOAA head explains stock stand”
Peter Shelley of Conservation Law Foundation explains the Cod Dilemma in a wormy little video he so humorously named “For Cod’s Sake”…..continued
Dr. Kevin Stokesbury posed a challenge: How do you count fish in the ocean without killing them, in particular yellowtail flounder? It’s an important question because fishermen simply do not trust NOAA’s survey methods. Many believe fish are severely undercounted because the NOAA researchers on the ship Bigelow don’t seem to know what they are doing when they go fishing. It’s killing the industry. excitedly continued.
That’s a twist worthy of the old gods out of Greek myths. Every gift they ever gave us mortals carried a dark side. As mere mortals trying to manage the natural world, we instinctively try to maximize all the fish that matter most to us. We want a Bay full of stripers and a Bay full of menhaden. But that may not be an option. continued
The marine biologist’s cod-food web looks more like the architecture of an acid-tripping spider than a depiction of what cod eat, and get eaten by, on the Scotian Shelf.
Cod eat herring and capelin and sand lance — small eel-like fish that in turn eat cod larvae. Seals eat cod, but they prefer herring and capelin and sand lance. Whales eat everything.
Everything eats everything. And that’s nearly all we know about how the hundreds of species on the Scotian Shelf interact — which is a problem.
“If cod came back, we’d have no idea why, because we don’t know what the interactions are,” Iverson said. We’ve had stock assessments — educated guesses made by scientists on how many of a particular species are out there, based on sample trawls and fishermen’s landings. continued
Scientists admit ‘we got amount of fish wrong’ – one Whitby fisherman has said: “Now give us our quota back.”
With scientists admitting they got the amount of fish in the North Sea and surrounding waters wrong, one Whitby fisherman has said: “Now give us our quota back.” The International Council for Exploration of the Sea’s most recent advice has confirmed that fishing pressure across the main commercial stocks has in fact fallen to a remarkable degree. continued
Researchers have known for some years that the Atlantic cod beats the retreat in the direction of the Arctic when the waters in its traditional habitat become too warm. In summer, shoals from the Atlantic Ocean, for example, are now moving up as far as Spitsbergen into the waters the Arctic cod calls its own. continued
A sudden switch from herring to sardines in the English Channel in the 1930s was due to a long-term ocean cycle called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), an international study shows. This is the first evidence linking the AMO to trends in important European fisheries. The study, funded by the governments of the UK, Canada, Norway, the USA and Germany, compared data on sea-surface temperatures with measurements of plankton concentrations continued
Work by biologists and marine scientists at various Norwegian research institutions over the past 10 years has covered such commercial resources as shrimp, scallops, herring and cod. continued
The deep oceans have recently been soaking up much of the excess heat trapped under the ever-thickening blanket of greenhouse gases that humans pump into the atmosphere, according to a recent study. continued
Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content† pdf
Scientists stress need for national marine biodiversity observation network continued
Early Warning Signs of Population Collapse continued
Goosefish Capture Small Puffins Over Deep Water of Northwest Atlantic continued
Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport opens doors wide on Saturday continued
De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year. His paper, published last month in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Acquatic Sciences, found that simple reviews in which impacts on fish habitat could be fixed were completed within months, 19 times out of 20. continued
WASHINGTON — April 1, 2013 — In the wake of a deeply flawed 2012 stock assessment that has prevented the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) from determining the status of Atlantic menhaden, members of the bait and reduction fisheries have written to the ASMFC calling for updated science and better data collection for the menhaden assessment. continued For more information on the stock status see: “Menhaden are Overfished” Reports Turn Out Premature
Five years ago, a state fisheries employee was on a busman’s holiday: fishing in 170 feet of water near a small gravel sandbar 3 miles east of Gloucester, happily hauling up one large cod after another. He had discovered the epicenter of a mass of spawning cod, possibly 30,000 fish, that returned to this spot every spring. State fisheries scientists realized this was a unique opportunity to observe spawning cod in the wild so, in 2009, they set up an underwater laboratory at the site. continue reading
SCU student astounds scientific minds with new discovery – published in the Canadian Aquatic Science Journal
A GROUND-BREAKING discovery which could revolutionise Australia’s fisheries has earned a Southern Cross University student a major government grant and the respect of scientists around the world. continue reading
For decades researchers have recorded sounds from whales and other marine mammals, using a variety of methods including passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to better understand how these animals use sound to interact with each other and with the environment. Now, for the first time, researchers report using this technology to record spawning cod in the wild. continued
Phys.org) —Researchers working with the groundfish fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest have tested a new “flexible sorting grid excluder” – a type of bycatch reduction device that shows promise to significantly reduce the incidental bycatch of Pacific halibut from commercial bottom trawl fishermen. continued
Alright. This 2048 crap is out of control! You gotta read this. (shaking head) – Want to Save Starving Sea Lion Pups? Here’s How
Want to Save Starving Sea Lion Pups? Here’s How– Megan Pincus Kajitani. Tears streamed down my 7-year-old daughter’s face this cloudy, March morning, as we watched the plight of a lone female California sea lion pup, clearly exhausted, struggling to keep her head above water and get herself to our local beach’s jetty. blah blah blah, tears running down my face, and then, Many marine scientists believe that, at the rate we’re going, the seas will be barren by 2048. (Did you get that? No sea life in 35 years!) Read this ! See this article – No fish Left in the Ocean by 2048!!! – Media hype gets you more citations? Well, it did for this fisheries paper. By Dr Bik
In making their findings, the researchers have upended a decades-old core principle of marine science known as the Redfield ratio, named for famed oceanographer Alfred Redfield. He concluded in 1934 that from the top of the world’s oceans to their cool, dark depths, both plankton and the materials they excrete contain the same ratio (106:16:1) of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. continue
Scientists have warned that a fishing rethink is needed after finding that catches of big fish trigger a rapid change in the gene pool of fish stocks. Researchers at Bangor University say they found that over-harvesting larger fish leads to a population of smaller fish that are less fertile. continue
The big question is: Why has this happened? Over the years, quotas have been gradually reduced, but still the fish aren’t coming back as expected. It isn’t simply a case of overfishing. There are environmental forces at play such as predation from recovered populations of dogfish and seals, changes in ocean water temperature and increases in ocean acidity. So, while it may not be totally on the fishermen’s shoulders, it will be the fishermen who will have to pay the price. Read more
This newspaper understands the angry response severe restrictions provoked among those whose families have earned their living from the sea for generations – “I’m leaving here in a coffin,” one fisherman from New Bedford, Mass., complained – but the council had no viable options…..We encourage NOAA to adopt the restrictions, as painful as they will be to New England fishermen, since they are the best way to give cod, now on the verge of extinction, a chance to replenish. Read more here at The Day
As the debate looms over whether Gulf of Maine cod catch limits for 2013 and beyond should be cut by 90 percent or a mere 80 percent, I found myself drawn to a piece of writing that I submitted as part of my college application in 2002. Dramatically enough, it was titled “Extinction” and recapped my naive first 18 years of life as part of a small-boat New England fishing family. The essay started ominously enough by stating that “every year, New England’s fleet shrinks and approaches extinction.” Typically enough, for a pro-fisherman piece, it bashed government science for using incorrect data and ignoring fishermen’s observations, while bemoaning the days of 30-pound trip limits. However, it ended on a cautiously optimistic note highlighting the then-recent increase in cod trip limits to 400 pounds a day.
Looking back at this work, written more than a decade ago, I am dumbfounded to see that New England groundfish management has once again regressed. Today, I am deep into my pursuit of a PhD in fisheries stock assessment,,,,,,,,Read the rest
Fish panel holds off on limit cuts – “I say if you’re going to take 1 damn percent (more), shut the whole God damn thing down!”
New England fishing regulators Thursday delayed voting on a series of significant cuts to fishermen’s 2013 allowable catch in groundfishing stocks after repeated and emotional warnings that the reductions would finish off an industry already grappling with a federally recognized economic “disaster.” The New England Fishery Management Council voted 15-2 to put off deciding on new catch limits for various bottom-dwelling groundfish species until their next meeting, scheduled for the end of January. Read More
Your View: Fishery council must reject unreliable assessments – By Richard Canastra – southcoasttoday
I nearly always attend New England Fishery Management Council meetings in person, but last month, I was unable to attend the meeting in Newport, and instead listened to the proceedings online. I found that listening, and not physically being there, gives you a different perspective on a meeting. You hear more intently. There are fewer distractions. Examples seem clearer. Patterns emerge. There are some predictable patterns in life. When there is an accident, at the end of the traffic jam you find a police officer. When you go to a restaurant, at the end of dinner the bill comes. And when you attend a fisheries management council meeting that is dealing with a crisis, there is usually a bad stock assessment.
Bad stock assessments have become as predictable as the sunrise. Read More
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As a citizen advocate of the fishing industry, I have no confidence in NOAA stock assessments.
I spend a lot of time reviewing material, attempting to convey the results to as many people possible.
These listening sessions allow, as Mr Canastra stated, patterns to emerge.
The patter of Bill Karp, and Sam Rauch deviates not from the typical bureaucratic structure, much to my disappointment after listening to them from various venues, and reading a lot of information.
The revelations of the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Working Group Meeting May 23, 2012, are the foundation of my opinion to condemn the stock assessments as a tool for fishery management, while enforcing Mr Canastras belief that the proper equipment is not being utilized to sample yellow tail flounder abundance.
As stated, patterns have emerged. The pattern of over looking details that have detrimental affects on stock assessments and confidence in them.
At the The New England Fishery Management Council’s three-day meeting in Plymouth Ma on 9/25/2012, a major detail confirmed the retrospective patter of no confidence in stock assessments conducted by NOAA.
During the 54th Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW)/Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC) Meetings, a fisherman asked a question that received a hollow shrug of the shoulders answer that I find alarming, and telling that these assessments are substandard and incomplete.
The question was, “why is there no mention of herring as a predator species” in the ground fish assessment?
The answer. ” The SSC was, ah, not presented, ah, ah herring as a, ah, predator species….”
Yes. A Retrospective Pattern of the science used to mismanage this industry is established.
Prior to that event and the arrival of Dr. Brian Rothschild and his associates, the domestic fishing industry was subjected to the science used for assessing fishing stock sizes and their use in fishing conservation plans. The law called for the fishery management councils to use the best available scientific information, and in the days before SMAST that meant that whatever the National Marine Fisheries determined to be the proper approach was indeed the gospel. Fishermen and the industry generally were put through management measures that not only didn’t make sense but ended up killing millions of pounds of seafood product, fish and scallops, subjected vessels to huge fines and loss of vessels, and resulted in a highly confrontational relationship between industry and government. Read More
The elections may be over, but the current Congress still has work to do…..We need reliable, independent science. And Massachusetts is best equipped to provide it….That’s because there has not been adequate, sustained funding for independent research centers…..environment using scientific evidence that is, by its own scientists’ admission, often unspecific, unproven and unreliable. NOAA has been put in the position of acting not only as judge and jury, but as prosecution, defense and expert witness…..In particular, the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at UMass Dartmouth is uniquely suited to provide this research. SMAST has an ideal location as well as a history of fostering positive collaboration between all fishing stakeholders. SMAST can also boast a proven record of success in fishery research. In the 1990s the scallop industry was on the verge of collapse when SMAST pioneered new research on a very tight budget that proved the scallop population wasn’t devastated, http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121118/OPINION/211180303
In the current issue of Science Express, Michigan State University researchers show that by the end of the 21st century, warmer oceans will cause populations of these marine microorganisms to thrive near the poles and may shrink in equatorial waters. Since phytoplankton play a key role in the food chain and the world’s cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and other elements, a drastic drop could have measurable consequences.http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&ndb=1&id=56428
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Continually Misrepresents Status of Menhaden – using biased phrasing in their articles
In reference to menhaden, both articles uses the phrase “the most important fish in the sea,” which is frequently used without proper explanation. Originating from Rutgers University English Professor, Dr. H. Bruce Franklin’s book, The Most Important Fish in the Sea, the phrase stems from entirely qualitative judgements made by the author. There is no scientific evidence supporting the hyperbolic statement that any one species of fish is “most important,” and promulgating this idea represents only the authors’ opinion, rather than any scientific consensus.
Although the Epes article states that “The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is pushing for fair and reasonable limits to rebuild the menhaden population,” the organization does not provide a similar description of the status of the menhaden stock, using biased phrasing in their articles to make the species seem in worse condition than it actually is.
SMAST professor Brian Rothschild, and the SMAST Team are coming to the rescue! (There is a God!) It ain’t NOAA either.
I’m willing to bet my sou’wester that the SMAST Team will get some real results that the industry can believe.
SMAST plans independent groundfish survey to assist groundfishermen By DON CUDDY
DARTMOUTH — Frustrated by doubts surrounding the accuracy of fish stock assessments conducted by NOAA and with the groundfish industry in crisis, UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology plans to launch an independent survey of groundfish stocks. “(NOAA Fisheries) is saying they don’t have time to review the assessments that are on the table,” said SMAST professor Brian Rothschild. “But this is really high stakes and we need to do something before May 1.” The new fishing year, with cuts of 50-70 percent projected for key stocks, begins May 1. Such drastic cuts threaten to force many independent fishermen out of business.
Two areas, 35-miles south and 150-miles east of Chatham have been closed for cod and other groundfish but the National Marine Fisheries Service is contemplating re-opening to help fishermen because all fishermen are facing drastic cuts of 70 percent in cod and 73 percent in haddock on Georges Bank. But not all fishermen are enthused.
Then there’s this insight by someone who can’t be very smart.
Wholesaler Andy Baler of the Nantucket Fish Company noted that huge mid-water trawlers are catching tons of herring off shore while the National Marine Fisheries Service looks idly on. “Cod and haddock feed on local herring but they’re starving. That’s why you see fish so skinny,” he said. “The mid-water trawlers are going to suck every bit of bait out there. You have one management system for some fish and another management system that goes and kills all the fish they eat.” Bullard conceded the two plans are un-connected. NOAA takes a fish by fish approach. “This port is crushed. We’re living on a few dogfish,” Baler declared. “We need some help. Keep the herring here so we can fish the channel.”
Read more: Cape Cod’s fishermen fret over seals, dogfish and the future – – Harwich Oracle http://www.wickedlocal.com/brewster/newsnow/x1826353094/Cape-Cods-fishermen-fret-over-seals-dogfish-and-the-future#ixzz29O2eBrZ9
The relationship is this. The larvae of the bottom fish need to go to the surface of the ocean in order to obtain food – plankton – and light. While they go up, they become a feast for the pelagics. When those larvae that survive become codlThe relationship is this. The larvae of the bottom fish need to go to the surface of the ocean in order to obtain food – plankton – and light. While they go up, they become a feast for the pelagics. When those larvae that survive become codlings, they want to go back to their friends and relatives. While they descend to their native habitat, they become a second feast for the pelagics.
When long-time Portsmouth Herald editor Ray Brighton wrote his definitive two-volume history in honor of Portsmouth’s 350th anniversary, he called it “They Came to Fish.” Fishing brought settlers to our shores and was a sustaining industry for centuries. When locals want to celebrate and when tourists come to the Seacoast they want to eat seafood: lobsters, steamers, quahog chowder, cod and haddock. It is the quintessential New England fare. Today our fishing fleet and associated industries are mere shadows of their former selves. Every year a few more fishermen give up the fight. The Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative in Seabrook offers the last shore support for our decimated fleet. Distrust runs high among regulators, scientists and the fishermen who feed their families by their dangerous and backbreaking work at sea. http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20121007-OPINION-210070312
This second writing for the Free Press finds me at a place that forces me to revisit my article for the First Edition.
The New England Fishery Management Council began its three day meeting in Plymouth Ma on 9/25/2012.
As is typical of bureaucratic meetings, this one was spiked with some, at times, semi excitement, and threats.
The New England Fishery Management Council approved a motion to allow groundfishermen access to large areas off-limits to fishing.
WASHINGTON — Fraud in scientific research, while still rare, is growing at a troubling pace, a new study finds. A review of retractions in medical and biological peer-reviewed journals finds the percentage of studies withdrawn because of fraud or suspected fraud has jumped substantially since the mid-1970s. In 1976, there were fewer than 10 fraud retractions for every 1 million studies published, compared with 96 retractions per million in 2007.