Tag Archives: “scientists”

Fire it up! Can Lobsters Get High? A team of scientists tested one restaurateur’s theory

A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego have written a paper in pre-print (meaning the work has not been published or peer reviewed yet), which looks at the effects of THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high, on lobsters. The scientists devoted their research hours to these questions in response to a 2018 media storm, started by restaurateur Charlotte Gill. At the time, Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, wanted to find a way to cook her lobsters more humanely. So can lobsters get high? >click to read< 10:52

Scientists, First Nations team up in fresh attempt to revive struggling B.C. herring stocks

For decades, the fish were viewed as a virtually inexhaustible resource. They were canned, frozen, used as fertilizer, and even rendered into slippery goo to grease logs being skidded out of the forest. But the once coastal-wide bonanza is fizzling out. This year, most of the waters off B.C. were closed to commercial herring boats, with the only quota being allowed in the Strait of Georgia, along Canada’s southwest coast. The first collapse of the stocks happened in the 1960s, due to overfishing. They were allowed to recover but have had ups and downs in recent decades. The herring fishery in Eastern Canada has also been facing tough times. >click to read< 13:48

Seabed mining ban – a win for marine life, fishing and culture

The Northern Territory Government first declared a three-year temporary ban on seabed mining in March 2012 and has since extended it twice under both the Country Liberal Party (CLP) and Labor Governments. With the temporary ban due to expire in March, Territorians have made it clear that they want a permanent ban. It’s great to see today the Government listen and act on this important issue. “The Top End has some of the last healthy tropical coasts in the world. Seabed mining is like bulldozing the seafloor. It would decimate our marine life, pollute our waters, threaten our fishing and destroy places of cultural significance.” >click to read< 12:37

“This is our line in the sand,”: Facing new threats, lobstermen take hard line against right whale protections

“My administration will not allow any bureaucrat to undermine our lobster industry or our economy with foolish, unsupported, and ill-advised regulations,” Governor Janet Mills told a crowd of cheering lobstermen at a protest this summer at a protest this summer in Stonington. The backlash started shortly after a government-appointed team of scientists, fishermen, and others urged the agency to require lobstermen to reduce their buoy lines, among other measures.,, But with increasingly vocal protests across Maine’s rugged coast from rank-and-file lobstermen, the state’s leaders — including their entire congressional delegation,,,  >click to read< 12:17

Critics say federal government is wiping out commercial pink salmon fisheries

In emails obtained by the BC Wildlife Federation, British Columbia government staff and scientists say Fisheries and Oceans Canada is burying science and misrepresenting a crisis situation to the public, risking extinction of Thompson-Chilcotin steelhead trout. In the fall of 2017, only an estimated 150 Thompson fish returned alongside just 77 to the Chilcotin down from thousands just a decade and a half ago. The email chain shows the DFO changed the wording of a public scientific document that is based on peer reviewed science. >click to read<  18:40

Eighteen scientists, environmentalist, blast Maine lobstermen’s stand on whale safety

“Reducing entanglement in East Coast waters of the United States is a critical part of a comprehensive strategy for right whale survival and recovery,” Scott Kraus, chief scientist for marine mammals at New England Aquarium’s Anderson Center for Ocean Life, and Mark Baumgartner, associate scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and chairman of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, said in a letter Tuesday to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. >click to read<  19:44

Can scientists build a blueprint for bluefin tuna?

For several years, biotech companies have been promising “clean” meat, “cell-based” meat, “cultured” meat – whatever you want to call it – as a way to enjoy the taste of chicken, pork and beef without the brutality of animal slaughter or the environmental damage of big agriculture. But what about fish? What about something as prized as buttery bluefin tuna, a delicacy that has become the forbidden fruit of the sea because of the many threats that have landed the fish on threatened and endangered species lists? Where are the Silicon Valley start-ups promising to free us from the guilt of gobbling down a finger of otoro sushi, the rich bluefin belly meat, without contributing to the decline of the fish or the decline of our own health via mercury that accumulates in the flesh of this apex predator?>click to read<07:51

Ropes are latest flashpoint in tug of war over right whales

The lobster industry is willing to consider switching to weaker rope to protect the endangered right whale from deadly entanglements, but whale defenders say that doesn’t go far enough to help a species that can’t bear even one more death. A team of scientists, regulators, animal rights groups and fishermen met this week in Providence to review proposals,,, The team is advising the National Marine Fisheries Service on how to prevent whales from getting entangled in fishing gear as they migrate, feed and mate as they travel back and forth along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. >click to read<11:54

Fishermen, scientists, researchers convene to address reeling coastal communities, fisheries

Commercial fishing fleets are skeletons of their former selves and their communities, once known for their abundant natural resources and food production, are suffering from increased poverty and food insecurity. In response, about 50 state and local officials, scientists, researchers, business owners and fishermen convened Friday, Oct. 5, for a ‘Fisheries Roundtable’ discussion at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. They explored options to improving coastal fisheries and the communities they serve. >click to read<16:17

Scientists say black Sea bass behavior could be affected by offshore wind

Scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center say that offshore wind energy construction could affect the behavior of Black Sea Bass. Black Sea Bass live up and down the east coast from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, providing a significant ecological and economic importance. The fish are also attracted to structurally complex habitats, often found around rocky reefs, mussel beds, cobble and rock fields, and artificial habitats like shipwrecks. Scientists, commercial and recreational fisherman have expressed their concerns about how the sounds that come with the development of offshore wind energy overlapping with the natural habitats of Black Sea Bass. >click to read<09:37

Scientists Worry, The Ocean’s ‘Twilight Zone’ Faces Fishing Threat

The mesopelagic area of the ocean plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems, but it has remained largely untouched and unexplored But now some nations are eyeing the deep sea as potentially rich new fishing grounds. Virtually no sunlight reaches the deep waters of the mesopelagic zone of the ocean, which ranges from about 650 to 3,000ft (200–900m) in depth. And until now, few fishing nets have either. But that soon may change. Fishing nations are exploring the possibilities of trawling the ocean’s “twilight zone,” a vast mid-water world left largely untouched by fishing, where light-generating fish and pelagic shrimp swarm in immense masses. Norway has led the push, driven largely by a coastal aquaculture industry in need of plentiful feed for farm-raised fish. >click to read< 20:40

Billion Oyster Project – Environmentalists, Scientists Pledge 10 Billion Oysters By 2025, Watermen Skeptical

Drilling away, waterman Guy Spurry was working hard on Monday – not oystering – but building his boat. And in Annapolis the same morning, scientists and environmentalists say a new plan will have them working hard too. That plan – to bring 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by the year 2025. Spurry says he’s skeptical. “It may work and it may not. It’s just a guessing game and it cost a lot of money to play these games,” Spurry said. It’s a money game that some argue needs to be played. >click to read< 18:31

How many red snapper are actually in the Gulf? These scientists are going to find out

A team of 21 scientists from universities and state and federal agencies will attempt to answer one of the Gulf’s perplexing questions: How many red snapper are there? “American communities across the Gulf of Mexico depend on their access to, as well as the longterm sustainability of, red snapper,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a press release announcing the formation of the team. “I look forward to the insights this project will provide as we study and manage this valuable resource.” The panel convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium was awarded $9.5 million in federal funds for the project through a competitive research grant process and will receive another $2.5 million from the universities. click here to read the story 22:53

Scientists accused of scaremongering, ‘overheated claims’ with warning to humanity

A recent warning to humanity endorsed by thousands of scientists around the world includes “scaremongering” and “overheated” claims while ignoring much of the progress made in recent decades, some experts say. “It concerns me that the message from science is this doom-and-gloom scenario that just turns off about 75 per cent of people,” said Erle Ellis, an associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “There’s a small percentage that loves the crisis narrative, and they just repeat it over and over to each other.”​ click here to read the story 10:03

Congress wants to ban the shark fin trade. These scientists think that’s a bad idea.

Florida has a few more days until increased shark fin penalties kick in, and Congress is considering a ban that would prohibit fin sales for the entire country. But a paper co-authored by two shark researchers argues that such a ban would be destructive to shark fisheries management tactics already in place. The act of cutting off a shark’s fin and dumping its body into the water, eventually leading it to bleed to death or suffocate, has been illegal in the U.S. since 2000. Senate Bill 884 increases the fines for those who cut the fins off sharks while on the water, or return to shore with a shark’s fin separated from its body. While Mote Marine Laboratory’s Robert Hueter supported Florida’s new law imposing stricter fines for finning, he said Congress aims to solve a problem that doesn’t exist in the U.S. click here to read the story 08:33

Newfoundland and Labrador Fishermen don’t agree that crab, shrimp stocks are as bad as scientists say

The province’s fishery appears to be on the brink of a sea change. News over the past couple of months of continually declining snow crab and northern shrimp stocks in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador’s coasts have sent waves of concern washing over the fishing industry. The expected cuts this spring to crab and shrimp quotas have fisherman all around the province on edge. And there’s little else to fill in the gap — the northern cod stocks, while showing signs of strong growth in recent years, are still not ready for a major commercial fishing effort. Lying in the balance are huge investments in vessels and fishing gear, work for boat crews and plants, and the survival of rural areas of the province. But while scientific stock assessments of crab and shrimp reveal a dismal picture, many fishermen are not so sure that picture is accurate. In fact, many say they are seeing things a bit differently out on the water, and see some hope for the fishery of the future if fishermen are willing to branch out into other potential commercial species. click here to read the story 08:50

Scientists don’t need to do a better job of explaining themselves to fishermen — they need to do a better job of listening to them.

There’s currently a public spotlight on the plight faced by the province’s inshore fishers, due in part to the courageous 11-day hunger strike of FISH-NL Vice-President Richard Gillett that ended Sunday with his hospitalization, and to the increasing militancy on the part of desperate fishers, who have stormed, occupied, and barricaded Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) offices, burned their gear in public protest, and spoken out in myriad ways about the crisis they and their communities face.,, Their protests have provoked a range of responses, some of which are incredibly counter-productive. For instance, the suggestion that scientists need to do a better job of explaining their science to fishers.,, The implication is that if fishers actually understood the science, they would stop protesting — which misses the entire point of these protests on two counts. click here to read the article 17:45

Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker DFO should listen to harvesters seeing different catch rates than DFO scientists

Not all Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters are witnessing such a dramatic decline in shellfish stocks, according to provincial Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker, who said the federal government should listen to local fishermen when deciding upcoming quotas. Local fish harvesters are seeing catch rates that don’t match up with the analysis produced by DFO scientists, according to Crocker. That analysis showed major declines in shrimp and snow crab biomass, and hinted at a dire situation for fish harvesters who rely on those stocks to make a living. Crocker said he would be speaking to federal Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc this week, and would urge him to listen to local fish harvesters. Read the story here 10:08

RI Fishermen, Scientists Study Impact Of Offshore Wind Farm On Fisheries

img_3713Every month for the past four and a half years, Captain Rodman Sykes has sailed out toward the Block Island Sound with his crew and a small group of scientists. They tow a fish net and scrape the seafloor twice in three different locations: within the area of the Block Island Wind Farm and in areas close to it for reference. “Mostly skates, there’s a sea bass and a few small scup, sea robins, dog fish,” Sykes says aloud as he stands over the fish to inspect them each time his crew brings up the net and releases the catch. “Not much else, but a good sample. So we’ll go on to the next station.” While Sykes redirects his vessel to the next sampling area, scientists get right to work: sorting fish by species, taking their weight, and measuring their length. Together these scientists and fishermen make up the research team hired by Deepwater Wind to collect data to understand the wind farm’s impacts to fish and shellfish. Sykes says at first that didn’t sit well with a small group of fishermen. “I had guys question me about ‘why are you working for the wind farm?’” recalls Sykes. “I told them, ‘I am not working for the wind farm, I am working for the fishing community.’” Read the story here 10:40

Billionaire crony corporatist schemes – Financing “green” companies and enviro groups, getting richer off taxpayers and consumers

wind farmShady cash from Vladimir Putin’s Russian energy oligarchs and other rich donors is being laundered through Bermuda-based lawyers and middlemen to “green” pressure groups, lobbyists and spinmeisters – to promote “green energy” schemes that bring billions of dollars from government agencies (and thus from us taxpayers and consumers) to a cabal of billionaires and crony companies. At the epicenter are hedge fund millionaire Nathaniel Simons, his wife Laura and their secretive Sea Change Foundation. “Investors” become even wealthier, as billions of dollars are transferred annually to environmentalists, scientists, politicians, bureaucrats and crony-corporatists in Renewable Energy & Climate Crisis, Inc. The alleged “urgency” of replacing fossil fuels with “eco-friendly renewable energy” (to prevent catastrophic manmade climate change) drives and excuses operations that define or barely skirt “corrupt practices.” The arrangements are too convoluted to explain in one article. Even the US Senate’s “Billionaires’ Club” report, Environmental Policy Alliance’s “From Russia with Love” study, and articles by investigative journalists like Ron Arnold and Lachlan Markay (here, here and here) barely scratch the surface. Washington is out of control. The IRS targeting conservative groups, Clinton Foundation and national security scandals, FBI pseudo-investigations and whitewashing, bureaucrats imposing $1.9 trillion in economy-crushing regulations that ruin families and communities – with virtually no perpetrators ever held accountable. Read the essay here 16:12

Fishermen, scientists split on closures of triggerfish, amberjack

triggerfishOn any given day, charter boat captain Jeff Lassiter and his customers will catch dozens of gray triggerfish. Then they’ll toss them back in the water. “They’re dang near a nuisance,” But just two weeks before the scheduled Aug. 1 reopening date, national and state fishing officials changed their minds. Because of overfishing, NOAA Fisheries decided not to reopen triggerfish in federal waters this year, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) elected to follow suit. Officials said anglers already had met the allowable catch quota for the year, and to keep going would jeopardize the overall sustainability of the stock. NOAA also opted to not reopen amberjack for the same reasons, which means head boats and charter boat captains, which all have federal permits, will not be able to take customers out to fish for either species. Read the rest here 12:13

Can 1,500 Scientists All Be Wrong urging Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument?

Director Kewalo Marine Lab Robert Richmond PhD2More than 1,500 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging President Obama to use his executive authority to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. “There is a growing consensus among marine scientists that 30% of the oceans be set aside for adequate protection against human exploitation, yet only two percent presently benefits from full protection,” the letter said. The group said expanding the monument from the current 50-mile boundary to the full 200-mile allowable limit as proposed would be a “substantial step in the right direction, creating the largest reserve in the world.” Read the scientists’ letter to the president, along with a list of everyone who signed it. Read the rest here 09:00

South Atlantic Council, NOAA science gets ripped! Another crooked closure of red snapper

NOAA ScientistMany of you aren’t fishermen. But even if you don’t know a red snapper from gangsta rapper, this might still be worth a look. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council is as crooked and bloated a government bureaucracy as exists today. It perverts science. It feeds on special interests. More importantly, it squanders a natural resource. It announced this week the 2016 season for the American Red Snapper will be closed — as it was in 2015. During the three years prior, the season was open for a total of 12 days. It all began in 2008 when NOAA scientists determined that the red snapper stock in the South Atlantic was at just 3 percent of the biomass 50 years prior. That would have been 1958 when there was neither a NOAA, nor any other group counting red snapper. Perhaps 10 percent of all boats, recreational and commercial, could make the trip out 50 miles where the species thrives. There was no real sonar to find the hundreds of reefs where the fish spawned and no satellite positioning systems to find them again if you did hit a honey hole by accident or luck. So the “science” began as a fabrication, and that continues today. Read the op-ed here 07:45

Ottawa’s hiring wave to bolster federal science at sea

hunter-tootooThe federal government is about to do something it hasn’t done much of for years: hire scientists – a lot of them. At an event scheduled for Wednesday morning in Ottawa, Hunter Tootoo, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, is expected to announce that his department is looking to add 135 science-related personnel. The new hires would boost science staff at the department by about 15 per cent, its largest increase since the seventies and early eighties, when international agreements expanded Canada’s exclusive control of its ocean resources out to the 200-nautical-mile limit. “This level of hiring will almost certainly strengthen the capacity of ministry staff to provide high-quality science advice to decision-makers,” Jeff Hutchings, a fisheries scientist and professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said.Hang on Fishermen!  Read the rest here 14:16

Thursday: Challenges facing New England’s commercial fishing industry topic of public forum at RI College

A panel of government regulators, scientists, environmental advocates and fishermen will try to answer questions about the future of one of New England’s most iconic and important industries at a forum this Thursday. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at Rhode Island College. The panel will include: John Bullard, regional administrator with NOAA’s Northeast Regional Office; Graham Forrester, professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island; Erica Fuller, senior associate attorney with Earth Justice; Matt Tinning, senior director, U.S. Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund; David Goethel, captain and owner of the Ellen Diane; Mark Phillips, captain and owner of FV Illusion; and Daniel Georgianna, Chancellor professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Read the rest here 12:40

Scientists, lobstermen disagree on state of fishery

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls norbert stampsMark Sweitzer has a degree in chemistry, but he began fishing for lobster back in the 1970s and is still at it today. Sweitzer fishes out of the Port of Galilee on the F/V Erika Knight. “I like being outside,” he said. “I always thought about going back to school for geology or forestry or something like that, that would enable me to be outside. I love being outside and I love being around the ocean, so that was a big part of it, and I like having my own business.” Rhode Island’s lobster fishery may never see another boom time like the period in the ’80s and ’90s when there were plenty of lobsters and lots of money to be made. There are fewer lobsters and fewer lobster fishermen today, but explanations for the stock fluctuation vary widely. Read the rest here 08:19

Scientists have routinely exaggerated the “evil twin of climate change” aka ocean acidification

ocean-acidification-alarmA new paper published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science puts the issue of “ocean acidification” to the test, and finds that there has been significant exaggeration in the issue. The paper is: Applying organized scepticism to ocean acidification research “Ocean acidification” (OA), a change in seawater chemistry driven by increased uptake of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans, has probably been the most-studied single topic in marine science in recent times. The majority of the literature on OA report negative effects of CO2 on organisms and conclude that OA will be detrimental to marine ecosystems. As is true across all of science, studies that report no effect of OA are typically more difficult to publish. Read the rest here 11:12

New Study: Scientists unravel whale entanglement damage

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have released a new study documenting how much damage entanglements in fishing gear does to North Atlantic right whales — one of the most endangered of all the large whale species. Their migratory routes take them through some of the busiest commercial fishing areas along the East Coast of the United States — including the Gulf of Maine — and into . According to the institution scientists, entanglements with fishing gear represent the leading cause of death for endangered whales. Read the article here, 18:32

Scientists, Fishing Fleet Team Up To Save Cod — By Listening

In the ocean off of Massachusetts, an unlikely alliance of scientists and fishermen is on a quest. They’re looking for mating codfish. The goal is not only to revive a depleted fish population, but to save an endangered fishing community as well. Frank Mirarchi, a fisherman in the area for 52 years, was one of those who came forward. “We know the fish are spawning somewhere in this fairly large area of several hundred square miles,” he told the scientists. “Help us find out where.” “We’re trying to fish but not catch cod,” says Mirarchi. “That’s the new strategy.” Read the rest here 08:20

“One Square Mile.” Narragansett Bay: Trawling bay becoming more dire, say fishermen, scientists

To begin the discussion, Espinoza posed a series of questions to the panelists, seeking input on what it was like fishing in the bay in previous decades. She also wanted to know how commercial fishermen are adapting in order to stay in business. Captain Denny Ingram is a commercial lobsterman from Warren who has been fishing for 35 years. He recalled his childhood in the upper bay, collecting rockweed to sell for a dollar a bag in the late 1960s. Read the rest here 19:25