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IN BRIEF - 'Salmon signature' used to study historic Alaska fish returns

UNITED STATES
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.

Source: Hannah Heimbuch / Alaska Dispatch

 


IN BRIEF - Thai Airways bans shark fin from cargo flights

THAILAND
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

BANGKOK: Thai Airways has banned shark fin from its cargo flights as part of a growing global campaign against the popular delicacy in Asia.

 

The carrier joins a host of other airlines in taking a stand against shark fin, highly prized by many in the region, especially in Hong Kong and China where it is commonly served as a soup at wedding banquets and corporate parties.

"As part of the world community sharing in the great concern for the protection of endangered species and the environment, Thai Airways International has implemented its own official policy to place an embargo on the shipping of shark fin products," the airline said in a statement Tuesday.

Conservationists say booming demand for fins has put pressure on the world's shark populations, prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade.

Thai Airways officially stopped flying shark fin from July 15 but has avoided shipping fins for over a year, according to the statement. The move brings the carrier into line with a number of other Asian airlines including Philippine Airlines, which said in April it had stopped flying shark fin cargoes.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

 


IN BRIEF - QBFP ramps up inspections to safeguard fishing industry

AUSTRALIA
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) has significantly increased ‘in port’ inspections over the past year in a bid to continue safeguarding the fishing industry.

QBFP Manager Ian Fricke said more ‘in port’ inspections were conducted following ongoing concerns from industry about non-compliance and to ensure the integrity of the quota managed fisheries.

“In 2013/14, QBFP implemented a new focus to conduct more ‘in port’ inspections of quota managed fisheries,” said Mr Fricke.

“For the coral reef fin fishery, 256 in port inspections were conducted during the year compared to 78 in the previous year.

“For the Spanish mackerel fisheries, 172 ‘in port’ inspections were conducted compared to 34 in the previous year.

“The significant increase in the number of ‘in port’ inspections aims to ensure compliance in these fisheries and stamp out any potential for under or non-reporting of quota managed fisheries.”

Mr Fricke said illegal practices can affect the sustainability of fish species as well as industry investment in these fisheries.

Source: My Sunshine Coast

 


IN BRIEF - Bloody red shrimp found in Northern Ireland waters

UNITED KINGDOM
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

A new invasive species has been found in Northern Ireland for the first time.

 

The bloody red shrimp was found in Upper Lough Erne by researchers carrying out a fish survey.

A number of individuals were found in the stomach contents of perch by Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute staff taking part in a study for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The work was part of the AFBI-led DOLMANT project focusing on lake management.

The creature, which originates in the Black and Caspian Seas, first reached Ireland in 2008 and has been observed forming red swarms at marinas in the Shannon region.

The bloody red shrimp is known as a voracious predator that can potentially have a major impact on plankton composition, altering the dynamic of the ecosystem it has invaded.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

 


IN BRIEF - The Green Party is calling on members and supporters to sign the petition produced by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics

UNITED KINGDOM
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

Caroline Allen, vet and Green Party Spokesperson on Animal Issues said “it is increasingly clear that the overuse of antibiotics is putting the effectiveness of these vital drugs at grave risk. The use of antibiotics to prop up a farming system where animals are kept in inhumane and completely unsuitable conditions, suffering great stress, is surely one of the great scandals of our time. Are we really willing to risk our ability to perform chemotherapy, routine surgical procedures and treat infections so we can eat a cheap burger?”

 

 

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies has warned that a post-antibiotic era is approaching, in which common infections will again kill, and routine operations such as hip replacements will become too risky to carry out. Cancer treatment will no longer be possible. The World Health Organisation has called it a major global threat to public health.

 

There are now a significant number of studies that show how resistant bacteria are spreading from factory farms in to the human population.

Source: Green Party

 

 


IN BRIEF - Supermarket giants in Thailand for prawn slavery talks

THAILAND
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

UK and US supermarket groups are meeting in Thailand the week of the 28 of July 2014 to create a taskforce to tackle trafficking and forced labour in the shrimp feed industry.

 

The talks follow a Guardian investigation last month that uncovered slavery in the supply chains of Thai seafood sold to major international retail brands.

The three-day meeting will be hosted by Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, the world's largest prawn farmer, which the Guardian found buys fishmeal from suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boards manned with slaves.

Morrisons, Tesco and Costco US, which buy farmed shrimp from CP Foods, are among the retailers expected to attend the talks with Thai government representatives. Several international catering and food-service firms including Sodexo, Brakes as well as campaigners from Oxfam and the Environmental Justice Foundation will be among the attendees.

Source: The Guardian

 


IN BRIEF - New use for shrimp shells explored

UNITED STATES
Friday, August 01, 2014

TUSCALOOSA – University of Alabama chemist Robin Rogers imagines a future where shrimp shells could become more than a smelly seafood byproduct.

“I believe in what I would call a chitin economy. I personally believe, if properly developed, the material you can develop from chitin and the markets you could sell them in would make the shrimp shell worth more than the meat,” said Rogers, an owner and founder of 525 Solutions, a startup company housed in UA’s Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs center on campus.

The company, which is exploring a host of applications for chitin extracted from the shells, received roughly USD 1.5 million from U.S. Department of Energy to fund its research of a chitin-based absorbent material for use in a process to extract uranium from the ocean.

Source: The Clarion-Ledger

 


IN BRIEF - The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) Salutes Senator Cochran for His Strong Support of Gulf Shrimp Processors and Harvesters

UNITED STATES
Thursday, July 31, 2014

BILOXI – On Thursday, July 24 2014, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced an amendment to S. 2569 to provide a tax credit for shrimp production and efficiency improvements that would benefit both Gulf shrimp processors and harvesters. S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act, is designed to eliminate some incentives for the outsourcing of American jobs. The shrimp tax credit that Senator Cochran is attempting to add to the bill is designed to provide some redress for the U.S. industry in the wake of more than $250 million in government subsidies by seven nations to their shrimp industries that were documented by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013. These seven nations are China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The amendment is fully offset and paid for.

 

“I am very pleased that Senator Cochran is working hard to restore a level playing field for processors, harvesters and indeed entire Gulf communities that face unfair subsidies from a range of foreign governments,“ said American Shrimp Processors Association Executive Director David Veal. “Once again, Senator Cochran is standing up for a key Gulf industry.”

 

“Senator Cochran understands that fair trade needs to be restored for the U.S. shrimp industry to survive for the long term,” said Edward T. Hayes, Counsel to ASPA. “We are very grateful for his leadership on this important ASPA priority.”

Source: American Shrimp

 


IN BRIEF - Just say nyet to Russian fish

RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Thursday, July 31, 2014

 

Russia’s outrages, from its unflinching support for the murderous regime of Bashar Assad in Syria to its violent and illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine to its apparent complicity in shooting down a civilian airliner over Ukrainian airspace last week, killing more than 290 innocent people, are affronts to the civilized world.

 

President Obama, joined by many allies, has levied an escalating series of targeted economic sanctions against Russia, which are beginning to put serious strain on its fragile economy. According to several new public opinion polls, anti-Russian sentiment is growing among ordinary Americans, and Obama is no doubt considering a further turning of the screws to signal America’s indignation at Russia’s behavior and to attempt to change it.

Source: The Hill

 


IN BRIEF - Algae under threat from invasive fish

JAPAN
Thursday, July 31, 2014

 

Tropical fish invading temperate waters warmed as a result of climate change are overgrazing algae, posing a threat to biodiversity and some marine-based industries.

Researchers have reported Japan and the Mediterranean show substantial evidence that the intrusion of tropical herbivorous fish has caused widespread loss of canopy forming macroalgae and the trend could be global.

According to their investigation similar trends are evident in parts of the US, South Africa, Brazil, eastern Australia and Western Australia where kelp forests have declined and in some cases appears to be the result of feeding by tropical or subtropical herbivorous fish.

In Western Australia, they found macroalgal species had collapsed following an extreme heat wave in 2011 when temperatures rose up to five degrees for weeks.

They describe emerging evidence from WA researchers Thomas Wernberg and Barry Hutchins of a southward movement of tropical and subtropical species into temperate waters at that time, preventing the macroalgae's recovery as they feed off the small recruit algae.

Source: PHYS

 

 


IN BRIEF - Minimum wage not enough

VIET NAM
Thursday, July 31, 2014

 

HA NOI — The current minimum wage meets barely 75 per cent of the minimum living standard, said Nguyen Tien Dang, head of the Salary Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a labour conference in Ha Noi on July the 29 of 2014.

Wage negotiation mechanisms remained limited, so many enterprises forced their staff to accept low pay, Dang said. Moreover, the separation of wages by region led to confusion for areas on the border between regions, making implementation difficult.

 

The minimum wage currently ranges from VND 1.9-2.7 million (over USD 90-130).

However, Dang said the National Salary Committee aimed to raise the minimum wage gradually until it met the minimum living standard of workers while remaining within enterprises' payment capacity. The authorities also supported the signing of collective labour agreements in some industries so that minimum wages for those industries could be set, a mechanism that has already been piloted by the textile and rubber industries.

Source: Viet Nam News

 


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