Tag Archives: marine-science

Reflections on the success of traditional fisheries management – Hilborn and Ovando

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

10 times more fish in the sea? Context matters.

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

Citizen science study to map the oceans’ plankton

“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

Over demanding market affects fisheries more than climate change

Summary: Fisheries that rely on short life species, such as shrimp or sardine, have been more affected by climate change, because this phenomenon affects chlorophyll production, which is vital for phytoplankton, the main food for both species. Read more here  sciencedaily  16:37


Can technological advances help acidifying seas?

Many scientists are increasingly acknowledging that we can no longer afford to dismiss some gee-whiz technological fixes outright. We need to understand what, if any of it, could help. In 2012, a controversial California entrepreneur motored off the coast of British Columbia and dumped 100 metric tons of iron dust into the Pacific Ocean, hoping to spark a 4,000-square-mile plankton bloom. Read [email protected] 11:22

Nine steps to save waterways and fisheries identified by researchers

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

Cod’s mysterious defence strategies

g0002580000000000000bea0810c3a6cac2be28188b42d824fdbd10e7d9Low 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

Computer Model Predictions: Major Reductions in Seafloor Marine Life from Climate Change by 2100

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

As Long Island Sound’s temperature increases, Fish populations heat up in Long Island Sound

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

Can the ‘butterfly effect’ inform fisheries management?

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

Scientist look for new marine species for commercial use

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

Study links warmer water temperatures to greater levels of mercury in fish

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

Glider Palooza 2013 – Diving ocean gliders capture valuable data

“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

Climate Change Will Upset Vital Ocean Chemical Cycles, Research Shows

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

Not Your Average Drifters – Plankton, Part I – by Casey Diederich

“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

New Ocean Forecast Could Help Predict Fish Habitat Six Months in Advance

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

Scientists develop new method of estimating fish movements underwater

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

Marine Life Reacts Faster to Warming Than Land Species

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

Tiny ear bones of fish tell a big story about the environment.

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]

First global atlas of marine plankton reveals remarkable underwater world

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]

The most abhorrent occupation in the world? Dr Magnus Johnson,

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

SMAST Video Technology Shows Promise to Improve Groundfish and Flat Fish Stock Surveys

smastsavingseafood.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

BULLARD, SHELLEY, and COD: or Fish Being and Nothingness – Featured Writer Dick Grachek

63338_485671558129923_2088140092_s dickyg“Returning Our New England Fisheries to Profitability”: “You’re doin’ a great job, Brownie” aka, Janie, Johnny, Petey.  You should be proud.  Mission Accomplished?

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

Watch out, NOAA: SMAST is innovating again – GO SMAST, GO!!!

Dr. Kevin Stokesbury

sct logo


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.

Taking the Long View – The Fall & Rise & Fall of Stripers

Striped bass, for thousands of years, have been coming back to the great spawning rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. And scientists, for decades, have been trying to figure out why striped bass reproduce so well during certain eras and so poorly during other eras. Bob Wood (above) has come up with a new theory that may answer these old questions. Credit: top, David Harp; bottom, Michael W. Fincham.

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

Ocean food chains remain elusive

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