Tag Archives: predation

“They (seals) are destroying the crab stocks.” – Bearded seal harvested with a belly full of snow crab in Green Bay

Baie Verte native Danny Dicks recently harvested a bearded seal (square flipper seal) with 181 identifiable female and two male crabs in its stomach. The seal weighed between 200-300 pounds and measured approximately seven feet long. The Pilot spoke with Danny’s brother, Deon about the seal and what it was eating. “Bearded seals are not as common as the harp seals that are usually harvested,” Deon said. “They are much larger and can dive down in the deep water for crab and I’ve even seen them with rocks in their bellies.” “The females are needed to produce,” Deon said. “They (seals) are destroying the crab stocks.” Link 15:21

Sea lions hinder salmon conservation

California and Steller sea lions took a bigger bite out of last year’s salmon run than in any previous year, according to a new federal report. 2015 saw a bigger run, with more than 239,000 chinook and steelhead migrating past Bonneville Dam. That year, the total number of salmon that sea lions ate was he largest ever recorded. The Army Corps of Engineers recorded more than 260 sea lions eating more than 10,000 fish from January to June 2015. The 2016 salmon run was far smaller, but the sea lions’ appetite for salmon didn’t shrink much. They still ate more than 9,500 fish, nearly 6 percent of the run. That’s the largest share of the run eaten by the large marine mammals since Army Corps scientists started watching 15 years ago. Read the rest here 12:43

Electronic tags implanted in juvenile salmon, tracking them from birthplace to ocean

Using tags surgically implanted into thousands of juvenile salmon, UBC researchers have discovered that many fish die within the first few days of migration from their birthplace to the ocean. “We knew that on average 10 to 40 million smolts leave Chilko Lake every year and only about 1.5 million return as adults two years later,” said Nathan Furey, researcher and a PhD candidate in the faculty of forestry. “It’s always been a mystery about what happens in between.” More than 2,000 salmon were tracked over four years and researchers found that survival was poor in the clear and slow-moving Chilko River, where predators were feeding intensely on the smolts. Once in the murky and fast-flowing Fraser River, the salmon travelled day and night, covering up to 220 km per day, and experienced nearly 100 per cent survival. The researchers believe that in these waters, predators have difficulty finding and getting to the fish. Video, read the rest here 10:58

Nils Stolpe: While it’s called fishery management, it’s not even close – Managing fishing, not fish

“At the global scale, probably the one thing currently having the most impact (on the oceans) is overfishing and destructive fishing gear.” (former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco in an interview on the website Takepart.com on April 7, 2010.) The Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe began on April 20, less than two weeks later. Each year in the U.S. hundreds of millions of tax dollars are spent on what is called fishery management. It’s called fisheries management in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.  Read the article here 19:14

The enigma behind America’s freak, 20-year lobster boom

lobster discardEven as biologists puzzle over Maine’s strange serendipity, a more ominous mystery is emerging. A scientist who tracks baby lobsters reports that in the last few years their numbers have abruptly plummeted, up and down Maine’s coast. With the number of breeding lobsters at an all-time high, it’s unclear why the baby lobster population would be cratering—let alone what it portends. It could reflect a benign shift in baby lobster habitats. Or it could be that the two-decade boom is already on its way to a bust. To form a clearer picture why, we first need to unravel the possible causes of the current lobster glut. Read the rest here 09:23

Could salmon sharks be factor in declining Bering Sea king salmon numbers?

Given their name, it’s not surprising that salmon sharks eat salmon. But Alaska researchers are now asking whether the animals might have any impact on declining numbers of Bering Sea king salmon. “It’s too early to tell if salmon sharks have any impact on abundance on king salmon in the ocean, but it’s certainly another factor that should be investigated,” Seitz said in a phone interview from Fairbanks Wednesday. Read the rest here 11:42

Watermen Say Striped Bass to Blame for Low Crab Numbers

A picture circulating the Internet since the first weekend of November shows a striped bass cut open with roughly 20 small crabs spilling out of it. Watermen that spoke with WBOC said this is not a freak occurrence. director of DNR’s blue crab program – no scientific data to support a supposition that Striped Bass predation is causing a significant depletion of . [email protected]  14:54