Category Archives: Marine Science

U.S. researcher teams up with Canadian fishermen for tagging project – Tracking the mysterious underwater migration of female lobsters

Heather Koopman, senior scientist at the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station, has enlisted the help of Grand Manan fishermen to tag any female lobsters they catch and to report when they recapture one that’s been tagged. “Some … have gone nine or 10 nautical miles in the space of a little over a week,” said Koopman. “That’s kind of a distance for an animal … that size.” More than 200 lobsters had been tagged for the project by Tuesday. Koopman said the project hopes to reach the 1,000 mark in the next few weeks. >click to read< 07:39

Scientific study finds Seismic testing significantly increases mortality in scallops.

A recently published study in the U.S. Scientific Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that seismic air gun testing led to a significant increase in mortality among scallops along the Australian coast. No studies have been completed, [or even began] in the U.S. due to lack of funding by the U.S. Commerce Department controlled National Marine Fishery Service. >click to read<  19:57

F/V Darana R Hosts NOAA Fisheries Scientists During Fall Survey

A dozen scientists and staff members from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center visited the 90-foot F/V Darana R in Point Judith, Rhode Island on October 3. The stop was a port call in the midst of the fall NorthEast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (NEAMAP) survey off the coast of Rhode Island.,, Captain Jimmy Ruhle, son Bobby Ruhle, and crew member Rigo Rodriguez deploy and retrieve all fishing gear, and work with six survey staff from VIMS. The survey collects data including catch, effort, and environmental conditions. Photo’s,  >click to read< 18:50

Last of the hunters or the next scientists? Arguments for and against the inclusion of fishers and their knowledge in mainstream fisheries management

For years fishermen have decried the world of fisheries research because all too often their experience of scientific research has been frustrated by the perceived gulf between those that research and those that actually go down to the sea every day to fish. Huge research vessels using totally outdated trawls fishing for species in areas known (by the fishermen) to be devoid of said species or at times when said species are less likely to be caught – compare your haddock catch by day and by night on the same grounds! Ed Hinds just published thesis tackles this issue and sets out a vision for how fishermen may play a significant role in fisheries research in the future – there a handful of UK fisheries research vessels and 5,400 fishing vessels – every one capable of [laying a role in research given the resources. >click to read< 13:10

Alexandra Morton: Mark, set, go—reversing the salmon extinction trend

As a scientist and a grandmother, I want to make sure we don’t give up on wild salmon. This year, 2019, is the worst salmon return in the history of this country and the silence is terrifying. It feels like everyone is giving up.  Salmon are masters at the art of thriving. They are so good at it all we need to do is listen to them and here is how. Politics aside, the pattern of the 2019 collapse is so clear Siri could navigate it.  The Fraser sockeye, which swim through Atlantic salmon pathogens twice in their life history, crashed to 10 percent of what was forecast, while the Nass,,, >click to read<  09:24

NOAA Wants More Cameras On Fishing Vessels And Fewer Biologists

John Hankins owns the boat “Courageous,” which he sails out of Warrenton on the northern Oregon coast. He had a smile after returning from 25 days fishing for albacore. “I’m full,” he said. “Both tanks!” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn’t assign a fisheries observer to his boat this trip. But he said, it happens fairly regularly. “They’re usually not a problem for us,,, >click to read< 09:20

Trawl Survey Results Show Northern Bering Sea In Flux

Norton Sound Red King Crab are moving, Arctic cod numbers have dropped significantly, and Pacific cod are continuing to increase as the Northern Bering Sea ecosystem undergoes drastic change. That’s all according to preliminary results from NOAA Fisheries’ trawl survey this summer in the Northern Bering Sea (NBS). Audio,  >click to read< 09:50

Arctic crab invasion reaches new shores

Before 1960, the fishermen that sailed in the Barents Sea knew little about crabs. Then, developments unfolded that ultimately altered marine life on the far northern sea bottom. In fall 1960, Soviet marine biologist Yuri Orlov successfully moved nine female king crabs from Vladivostok to Murmansk. In the following ten years, another 3,000 crabs were moved the Kola Bay. Then, thousand more in the 1970s.,, According to the retired marine researcher, the king crab will continue to spread, and could ultimately reach as far south as the UK, and then even the Gibraltar. >click to read< 09:21

The impacts of seals and cormorants experienced by Baltic Sea commercial fishers

The growth of seal and cormorant populations has challenged the viability of coastal fisheries in the Baltic Sea. In 2017 widely spread frustration among local and regional fishery stakeholders generated a transnational cooperation project operated by the Fisheries Local Action Groups. The Baltic Sea Seal and Cormorant project aimed at producing new knowledge of the seal and cormorant induced problems, and at raising public awareness about the troubled situation in the Baltic Sea area. >click to read the study< 14:02

International expedition answers troubling questions about B.C. salmon runs

Buried in the doom-and-gloom headlines about depleted salmon stocks and disastrous spawning returns is this nugget of truth: There are more salmon in the Pacific Ocean than at any time since 1925.,,, The Russian research vessel Kaganovsky set out on a five-week grid-search test fishery in the North Pacific last February with a team of 21 scientists from Canada, Russia, the United States, Korea and Japan. They examined specific questions about the range, feeding habits and condition of adult salmon, and at least some of the answers are trickling in.  >click to read<  15:51

You Can Learn A Lot by Towing Two Nets at Once

Scientists and fishermen boarded the F/V Karen Elizabeth on September 12 with a joint mission: conduct a study of the NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow’s trawl net used for the twice-yearly scientific survey of the Northeast shelf. The Karen Elizabeth can tow two nets at once, making it the perfect platform for examining net performance under different conditions. The study is focused on how the net performs at different spreads, and what differences in catch can be attributed to that spread. Photos, >click to read<  17:15

Do Sharks Know When Hurricanes Are Coming?

Hurricanes can cause lots of environmental changes before they make landfall including high winds, storm surge, and high rainfall. They also create areas of extremely low barometric pressure which many animals can detect. For example, sharks have an organ called a ‘lateral line,’ which is a long row of small pores on each side of their body. Connected like a fluid-like canal, they sense changes in the surrounding pressure and are usually used to “feel” wounded prey. But they can also detect drops in the pressure that indicate an approaching hurricane. >click to read<  08:27

In her garage lab, a scientist looks for answers about skinny tuna

Molly Lutcavage is standing on the State Fish Pier in Gloucester, watching a crane hoist a giant bluefin tuna off the back of a fishing boat. “Look at how skinny she is,” the fisherman, Corky Decker, yells up to her. “That’s how they’ve all been — long, ugly things like you’d catch in June.” Lutcavage nods at the fish, which is 74 inches long but weighs just 174 pounds — very skinny indeed for a tuna — then looks down at the plastic bag in her hands, which is what she’s come for. It contains the tuna’s ovaries,,, >click to read< 07:38

Oregon researchers investigate latest marine heatwave that could hurt Pacific ecosystems

Earlier this month, the feds announced there was trouble brewing in the Pacific: a mass of warm water was building off the west coast, reminiscent of another event nicknamed “The Blob,” which caused havoc for wildlife and fishermen just a few years ago. Experts caution that the current marine heatwave is still in its infancy and could dissipate today, tomorrow or next week.,,, “This marine heatwave took shape in June, persisted, and has grown in size,” said Chris Harvey, a research biologist at the Northwest Fishery Science Center, >click to read< 17:54

How much fishing gear is lost at sea, worldwide?

The first ever estimate of commercial fishing gear lost in the world’s oceans has been published by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear or ‘ghost gear’,,, Until now there has not been a clear global picture of the quantity and type of fishing gear lost worldwide.,,Using data from 68 studies Currently, much of the data on gear loss is from the United States and Europe, highlighting the need for more information about gear losses in the African, Asian, South American and Oceania regions. >click to read<  16:27

New study addresses changes in lobster molt timing, Gulf of Maine temperature shifts

Variation in lobster molt timing has been increasing in recent years, and is related to changing ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Maine,,, Creating a time series for lobster molts and outlining the relationship of the initial intra-annual molt season to bottom water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine is important to the lobster industry because shifts in water temperature could result in changes in timing of the molt season, led by then UMaine graduate student Kevin Staples, who was pursuing a dual master’s degree in marine biology and marine policy. >click to read< 09:45

Toothfish research draws scientists, seafarers back for second Antarctic journey

Having broken the ice three years ago, a Nelson-based longliner is making a return voyage to the Antarctic to gain further insights into the world of toothfish. The Talley’s-owned FV Janas sailed last week to the northern Ross Sea region to carry out a winter scientific research survey. This is the second such trip for the Janas, having successfully completed a survey in the Ross Sea in 2016. During that trip, scientists and crew successfully fertilised Antarctic toothfish eggs, measured egg buoyancy of newly fertilised eggs, and collected wild eggs from plankton for the first time in history. >click to read< 14:28

Researchers tracking fish to learn more about where they migrate and spawn

Northern cod are about to experience a much higher level of surveillance. The iconic fish — 1,260 of them — are having small transmitters implanted into their bellies. As the cod swim about, their transmitters will send information to 75 acoustic receivers moored to the ocean floor in 13 areas along the eastern continental shelf and in three areas closer to shore in cod fishery area 2J3KL.  >click to read< 19:10

Sea Grant awards $2 million to advance understanding of American lobster, support industry

Sea Grant announced new funding today for research aimed at understanding physical and chemical changes affecting American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the Gulf of Maine as well as a regional lobster extension program. Collectively, the research projects and regional extension program comprise the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative. The seven research projects were chosen through a competitive processes that included review by subject matter experts. The research competition solicited proposals aimed at addressing one or more of the following priorities: >click to read< 10:21

CITES lists Mako shark under Appendix 2 trade restrictions, By Jim Lovgren

Commercial fisherman Jim Lovgren was at the CITES Convention held from the 17th to the 28th of August, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. He has written a comprehensive report about it, and he asked us to share it with you. There is a lot to review and is worthy reading,,, From Mako’s to Dogfish, and beyond,,, the influence of green money on the CITES party delegates and what has been happening in U.S. fishery management.,,This is exactly what is happening to U.S. fishermen, as small owner operator vessels are being squeezed out of fishery after fishery by the manipulations of “Greenwashed” corporate sponsored Enviro groups, out to save the planet. The U.S. government offers no help to the fishing industry because they are simple pawns to the energy companies that are running the show. Fishermen are just a nuisance, in the way of their offshore energy development plans. >click to read< 11:52

Dense Antarctic water returning to the Atlantic

The supply of dense Antarctic water from the bottom of the ocean to the Atlantic has declined in recent years. However, a new study explains for the first time how since 2014 this has stabilized and slightly recovered due to the variability in upstream dense waters, with implications for the global climate.,,, Lead author Dr. Povl Abrahamsen, oceanographer at British Antarctic Survey, says: “The deep oceans have been warming across much of the world for decades, so we were surprised to suddenly see this trend reversing,,, >click to read< 15:40

Researchers use DNA in seawater to monitor scallop reproduction

Researchers from the University of Maine and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences have developed a method for studying the timing of scallop spawning by analyzing the environmental DNA found in water samples. The newly published study provides a tool for managing wild and farmed shellfish populations, and it demonstrates the promise of emerging eDNA approaches for monitoring the presence and activities of all marine life. >click to read< 08:37

What’s the difference between shrimp and prawn?

Which is which? Shrimp and prawns have a lot in common, but they are, in fact, entirely different animals. Both shrimp and prawns are decapods, meaning that they have 10 legs and a thin external skeleton, but that’s where the similarities end.,,, Another difference between the two is how they reproduce. Shrimp carry their fertilized eggs with them on the underside of their bodies. Prawns release their eggs,,, >click to read< 09:53

Scientists warn of too many pink salmon in North Pacific

Biological oceanographer Sonia Batten experienced her lightbulb moment on the perils of too many salmon three years ago as she prepared a talk on the most important North Pacific seafood you’ll never see on a plate, zooplankton. Zooplanktons nourish everything from juvenile salmon to seabirds to giant whales. But as Batten examined 15 years of data collected by instruments on container ships near the Aleutian Islands, she noticed a trend: zooplankton was abundant in even-number years and less abundant in odd-number years. Something was stripping a basic building block in the food web every other year. And just one predator fit that profile. >click to read< 15:47

Is seismic testing to blame for disappearing plankton? This scientist says it’s possible

Scientists have noticed a mysterious population crash in some of the Atlantic Ocean’s tiniest and most important species, and a Halifax biologist says oil and gas exploration may be to blame.,,, The tiny organisms are disappearing from Newfoundland and Labrador’s waters, and Lindy Weilgart says blasts from seismic air guns have been shown to wipe them out.,,, On the other side of the world, Australian scientists first found that testing with seismic air guns destroys plankton a few years ago, >click to read< 21:18

Seismic air guns found to harm balance organ in rock lobsters

A team of researchers with the University of Tasmania and Curtin University has found that seismic air guns used for oil and gas exploration can damage a sensory organ in rock lobsters called the statocyst, which provides balance and orientation. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes tests they conducted with lobsters in their lab and what they found. >click to read< 11:02

New tech could unveil the secret life of Bristol Bay red king crab

Fishery researchers in Alaska are using cutting-edge technology to track migratory patterns of one of Alaska’s tastiest catches — the red king crab.
Biologists tagged 150 mature male crab in Dutch Harbor in June. The tags transmit acoustic readings back to an unmanned saildrone equipped with an accoustic receiver. This allows researchers to track movement across the ocean floor and monitor changes in water temperature. >click to read< 11:53

A fish tag that knows it’s been eaten is helping endangered Atlantic salmon

New tracking devices inserted into Atlantic salmon reveal that up to 48 per cent of the critically endangered fish are being eaten while leaving Nova Scotia’s Stewiacke River on their ocean migration. The insight is the result of acoustic tags that can tell when a tagged fish has been eaten.,, Striped bass the main predator,,, One thing has not changed: Atlantic salmon remain in deep trouble in the inner Bay of Fundy rivers where they are wiped out or on the brink of extinction. >click to read< 10:13

Scientist says DFO may be overestimating Newfoundland cod stocks by 35 per cent

A British Columbia fishery scientist says he’s worried federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans managers aren’t getting an accurate picture of the state of the northern cod stock. In fact, George Rose’s research suggests DFO science may be overestimating the biomass of the stock by 35 per cent.,,, The president of the FISH-NL union says DFO should take the criticism seriously. Cleary is calling for the cancellation of all fishing for northern cod outside the stewardship fishery, including the recreational food fishery, which is not something the union takes lightly, he said. >click to read< 19:10

Fewer fish, or fishy science? Commercial fishers, biologists at odds over the state of Lake Winnipeg’s walleye

Minutes before dawn, five boats speed out of Hecla Village Harbour on Lake Winnipeg, home to the second-largest freshwater fishery in North America after the Great Lakes. The seven-metre skiffs are small enough to allow gill nets to be hauled up over their bows and pulled along their gunwales, revealing the catch ensnared below the surface of the shallow but enormous lake during the previous 24 hours.,, Walleye is the lifeblood of their business,,, Walleye deteriorating, province says,,, Few fish, or fishy data? >click to read< 09:14