IN BRIEF - 'Salmon signature' used to study historic Alaska fish returns
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Alaskan fishermen are no strangers to the roller coaster flux of salmon returning to home spawning grounds. Most fishermen have experienced or at least witnessed both banner years and disaster years, riding out the consequences of a life lived according to marine resources.
Modern biologists have come to recognize these strong and weak variances as cycles that span not years but decades. Now, studies coming out of the University of Washington (UW) are indicating recognizable cycles that cross hundreds of years in their rotation.
I asked Shetland locals where I and my cameraman should go to see the seals. I was expecting to be given complex map readings leading to a quiet cove. "Behind Tesco” was the advice I actually got. Sure enough, there they were.
A group of seals hauled out on a rocky outcrop. With bushy whiskers twitching and big eyes full of curiosity, it was clear they were just as interested in us. It's revealing that one of the best known sites in Shetland for seal watching is behind the biggest supermarket. Around Shetland the seals live remarkably close to their human neighbours - and that's what's getting them into such deep trouble.
The salmon farms are big business for Shetland and parts of mainland Scotland. Production has rocketed 10% in a year - to a record 179,022 tonnes worth GBP 733 million. Long before the "aquaculture" arrived, the seals were here.
Since legislation in 2010 they have had "enhanced protection measures", meaning you can’t injure or kill a seal. The system allows an exception for the salmon farmers, who can get special licenses to kill them. It is always stressed that this is a last resort after all else has been tried.
The first week of October 2015 without warning the Prime Minister announced the creation of a marine sanctuary twice the size of New Zealand around the Kermadec Islands, a remote, near-pristine location that is hardly fished at all. What could be wrong with that? Quite a lot, says the seafood industry.
To most Kiwis, the creation of a massive marine sanctuary in a remote area that isn't exploited by fishermen or undersea miners is a terrific idea.
The Kermadec chain, midway between the Bay of Plenty and Tonga, is considered one of the last semi-pristine ocean areas on the planet. It contains the second deepest ocean trench, an arc of 30 undersea volcanoes, millions of seabirds, hundreds of fish species.
No wonder that Prime Minister John Key and Environment Minister Nick Smith trumpeted the creation of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, which Key announced at the United Nations in New York to much acclaim.
But to that part of the fishing industry that targets migratory pelagic species in the Pacific, mainly tuna of several kinds, it was surprising and unwelcome news.
ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has granted wildlife protection to a portion of the Chuitna River watershed in the western part of the Cook Inlet. The area is the site of a proposed coal mine, which some say could pollute local waters and endanger the salmon population.
The Chuitna Citizens Coalition submitted three water reservation applications to the DNR’s Division of Mining, Land and Water. One of the applications – which protects wildlife in the southern part of the watershed – was approved. However, the two other applications — which would have protected areas where the coal mine is to be dug – were denied.
“We’re guided by statutes and regulations on what we need to consider in our decisions. It is a difficult balance,” said DNR Division Director Brent Goodrum.
The Norwegian North East Arctic cod and haddock fishery has been successfully re-certified to the MSC standard for environmentally sustainable fishing. An independent team of fishery scientists and management experts has scrutinized the fishery and found that it continues to meet the MSC’s robust standard. This means that cod and haddock sourced from the fishery remains eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel.
This is the largest cod and haddock fishery in the world. The fish products are sold globally, with Europe as a core market, and supplies a wide range of restaurants and retailers with both frozen and fresh fillets.
Torn through its way from the northern Philippines, typhoon “Rainbow” roared ashore in southern China’s Zhanjiang city, prompting severe tornadoes that destructed its local fisheries. Picture shows trampled fishing cite, the local fishermen face devastating loss, and are seeking for immediate remedies to mend the business production.
CHANDIGARH - The Punjab government will provide cash-credit limit to fish farmers on the pattern of that given to the agriculturists by the cooperative banks.
Presiding over a series of meetings with the progressive dairy farmers, piggery, goatery and fishery beneficiaries here at Punjab Bhawan, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said it was the need of the hour to promote allied farming sector in the state by extending loans to them. He said there was a huge potential of fresh water fisheries, especially in the southern districts of the state, which still remained untapped.
Badal said the state government would give 24-hour single power connection to the fish farms. He also said that the state government would explore the possibility of setting fish markets in every big city of the state.
A group of planners, statisticians and policy makers from 13 Pacific island countries have gathered in Nadi to examine ways of improving the collection of agricultural and fisheries statistics, and the ways that such data is used.
The argument is a straightforward one: with almost three quarters of the Pacific population relying on farming and fisheries for their livelihoods, the more accurate the data that is collected, the better the chances of sustainability in the face of climate change.
Anna Fink, a statistician with the EU-funded Pacific Agriculture Policy Project, says while it may sound a bit dry, statistics are hugely important for maintaining sustainable development.
The Maori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana, says the Government was "cynical" in its handling of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary plan.
In a joint statement chairman Matiu Rei and chief executive Peter Douglas said the trust, the agent of the Treaty partners, was only informed 10 hours ahead of the Prime Minister's announcement the first week of October 2015.
They said the 1992 deed of fisheries settlement guaranteed that the Crown would consult iwi and their agents on fisheries and ecosystem management.
"The Government has not lived up to its guarantees in respect of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary."
A seafood firm behind a controversial trout farm on Loch Etive enjoyed a 32% boost in sales in 2014, helping it narrow losses that have plagued the business in recent years.
Dawnfresh Seafoods, which fought off a series of challenges against its latest trout farm on the Highland loch, said it was on track to return to profitability due to recent “transformational improvements” in the business.
The company, which is owned by billionaire Alastair Salvesen, said turnover rose to GBP 54.8million in the year to 29 March 2015, while pre-tax losses reached GBP 3.94million. This compared to losses of GBP 5.87million in the prior year.
Mr Salvesen, scion of the Christian Salvesen shipping empire, also plumped a further GBP 11million into the Uddingston-based firm in the year through a shareholder subscription, according to accounts filed at Companies House. This will allow the company to consider “longer term financing options” to help it “reach profitability in its three year plan”, the accounts said.
Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history.
Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of 2015 38% of the world’s reefs will have been affected. About 5% will have died forever.
But with a very strong El Niño driving record global temperatures and a huge patch of hot water, known as “the Blob”, hanging obstinately in the north-western Pacific, things look far worse again for 2016.
Foreign vannamei shrimp depresses frozen seafood exports Bangladesh
Frozen seafood exporters from Bangladesh have been forced to decline their prices to improve sales given the large cheaper vannamei shrimp supply in the international market and the fall of the euro and the ruble against the American dollar.
Maldives fisheries minister receives IPNLF Award Thailand
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture for the Maldives has been presented with the International Pole & Line Foundation Award that recognises Inspiration and Collaboration in the pole-and-line and handline sector.