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If you would like to send us an article, contact the editor Micaela Berce

IN BRIEF - Maine Is Drowning in Lobsters

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In his famous 1968 essay "The Tragedy of the Commons," biologist Garrett Hardin singled out ocean fishing as a prime example of self-interested individuals short-sightedly depleting shared resources:

Professing to believe in the "inexhaustible resources of the oceans," they bring species after species of fish and whales closer to extinction.

The whales have actually been doing a lot better lately. Fish in general, not so much.

Then there's the Maine lobster. As University of Maine anthropologist James M. Acheson put it in his 2003 book "Capturing the Commons: Devising Institutions to Manage the Maine Lobster Industry":

Since the late 1980s, catches have been at record-high levels despite decades of intense exploitation. We have never produced so many lobsters. Even more interesting to managers is the fact that catch levels remained relatively stable from 1947 to the late 1980s. While scientists do not agree on the reason for these high catches, there is a growing consensus that they are due, in some measure, to the long history of effective regulations that the lobster industry has played a key role in developing.

Source: Bloomberg

IN BRIEF - Study reveals new salmon species

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Orleans, Calif – On August 2017 a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis led by Dr. Michael Miller, published a report in the journal Science Advances that may have sweeping ramifications for salmon fisheries management all along the west coast and Alaska. The report describes the genetic difference between Chinook (or King) salmon that migrate into rivers in the spring versus the fall. The research provides new insights into salmon evolution and reveals that spring Chinook salmon deserve to be treated as its own evolutionarily distinct unit separate from fall Chinook. Before the age of dams, industrial mining, and clear-cut logging, spring Chinook salmon were the most abundant run of salmon in many Pacific Northwest Rivers. Today these fish are nearly extinct throughout much of its historic range.

Already, the report has led the Karuk Tribe to start the process necessary to have spring Chinook in the Klamath River added to the Endangered Species List. The Klamath River flows from southeastern Oregon to California’s north coast and is one of three rivers that power the West Coast commercial salmon fleet. Klamath spring Chinook were specifically used in Miller’s study.

Spring Chinook enter rivers in the spring when snow melt swells rivers allowing the fish travel into the upper reaches of a watershed. Then they must reside in cold water areas all summer until they spawn and die in the fall. Fall Chinook migrate into rivers in the fall where they spawn and die relatively soon after entering fresh water. “Having two life strategies allow Chinook to take advantage of the entire watershed instead of just the upper or lower reaches,” explains Toz Soto, Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Karuk Tribe. “This behavioral diversity enhances the chances of long term survival for the entire population.”

Source: Yuba Net

IN BRIEF - Mackerel picking up south of Hvalbak

Saturday, August 19, 2017

HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Víkingur docked this morning in Vopnafjörður with 900 tonnes on board, of which 750 tonnes are mackerel. According to skipper Hjalti Einarsson, fishing for mackerel has fluctuated and there have been a few good shots.

Yesterday the fleet was aware of a good amount of mackerel south of Hvalbak and that’s where most of the fleet has been.

‘We were quite a way further east when we heard that there was mackerel breaking the surface south of Hvalbak. We didn’t get there until yesterday evening, and we managed one 260 tonne haul before we started steaming to Vopnafjörður,’ he said.

Source: HB Grandi

Skipper fined $15,000 for illegal Dungeness harvest

Friday, August 18, 2017

A commercial crab fisherman has been fined CAD 15,000 for harvesting Dungeness crab in a closed area off Haida Gwaii in 2015.

Van Tan Le, skipper of the commercial crabbing vessel Vitamin Sea VI, pleaded guiltily to violating the Fisheries Act on April 10 of this year. The charges arise from Le having set more than 49 crab traps inside soft-shell management area 10—Mcintyre Bay closure area, north of Masset. A routine audit of the vessel’s logbook and electronic monitoring data later revealed possible fishing violations, which triggered a Fisheries and Oceans investigation in the summer of 2015.

In Prince Rupert court Judge Herman Seidemann III ordered CAD 14,000 of the total fine to be used for fisheries preservation and conservation projects in and around Haida Gwaii and the Hecate Strait.

In a press release, the DFO said they considered the offence extremely serious, as fishing during the closure could have detrimental impacts on commercial, First Nations and recreational crab stocks.

Source: The Northern View

IN BRIEF - NOAA designates critical habitat for Atlantic sturgeon

Friday, August 18, 2017

The critical habitat designation will require federal agencies to consult NOAA Fisheries if they operate or fund activities that may affect designated critical habitat in more than 3,968 miles of important coastal river habitat from Maine to Florida. Atlantic sturgeon was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 and is comprised of the threatened Gulf of Maine distinct population segment and the endangered New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina, and South Atlantic distinct population segments.

The ESA requires that NOAA Fisheries designate critical habitat when a species is listed as threatened or endangered. Under the ESA, critical habitat is defined as specific areas within the geographical areas that are occupied by the species, that contain physical or biological features essential to the conservation of that species, and that may require special management considerations.

The designation of critical habitat does not include any new restrictions or management measures for recreational or commercial fishing operations, nor does it create any preserves or refuges. Instead, when a federal agency funds, authorizes, or carries out activities that may affect critical habitat, it must work with NOAA Fisheries to avoid or minimize potential impacts to critical habitat. The activity of the federal agency may need to be modified to avoid destroying or adversely modifying the critical habitat.

Source: NOAA

IN BRIEF - Four illegal fishers netted during large scale regional crackdown

Friday, August 18, 2017

Nine patrol boats from the 10 member nations of the Forum Fisheries Agency took part in Operation Island Chief, with support from the navies of Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

More than 350 personnel were involved in the operation that covered 14 million square kilometres of ocean.

Four fishing vessels, three flagged to China and one to Chinese Taipei, were found to be infringing fishing regulations.

The infringements in Vanuatu and on the high seas, centred around misreporting of information and unmarked gear.

Source: Radio NZ

IN BRIEF - Fishermen to get weather information on phone

Friday, August 18, 2017

CHENNAI - Fishermen can now receive weather alerts, information on potential fishing zones and tsunami warnings from scientists directly on their mobile phones.

Sagar Vani, a new software program from scientists at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, will help provide this information in all coastal languages, including Tamil, as well as in Hindi and English.

The researchers have also developed a mobile app for Android phones that fishermen can download to receive alerts before heading out to sea.

Source: Times of India

IN BRIEF - Official pulled up for delay in distribution of RFID cards to fishermen

Friday, August 18, 2017

Panaji - The Goa government has issued a show cause notice to fisheries director over the delay in distribution of Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) cards to fishermen.

The RFID card is mandatory for the fishermen to venture into the sea for fishing.

State fisheries secretary Govind Jaiswal yesterday issued the show cause notice to the department’s director, Sharmila Monteiro.

“It has been observed that RFID cards to fishermen are supposed to be issued before August 1, 2017 as the season starts, but it has been delayed by the department,” reads the notice signed by Jaiswal.

“The minister of fisheries has taken a serious note of the matter and instructed to issue the show cause notice,” Jaiswal said, asking Monteiro to reply within 24 hours.

Source: Times of India

IN BRIEF - Fishermen’s oil exploration project worry

Friday, August 18, 2017

THE Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa­) has reportedly granted permission for seismic surveys to be undertaken to explore oil and gas along the East Coast.

The surveys, which would entail the use of sound energy to explore gas and oil in the ocean, have raised concerns over the environmental impact they would have.

Local fisherman since the age of 16, Sonny Chetty (78), was fishing at the Port Shepstone beach last week and said he had not caught anything that day and fishing generally was on the decline in the area.

Source: News 24

IN BRIEF - Research shows farmed salmon suffer hearing loss because of their accelerated growth

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tasmania's two largest salmon producers will review research that linked the accelerated growth rate of farmed salmon to hearing deficiencies in up to 50 per cent of fish.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne found half of farmed salmon across the globe suffer from an inner ear deformity which can reduce their hearing sensitivity by up to 50 per cent.

Earlier research showed farmed salmon experience the deformity in vastly greater numbers than wild salmon, and the researchers have now linked the deformity to the accelerated growth rates of commercial salmon.

The study has been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Source: The Mercury

IN BRIEF - 'Oman has potential to be leading aquaculture hub in the region'

Friday, August 18, 2017

Muscat - Fish farming is not a modern concept – the Gunditjmara people in Australia’s south-west farmed eels for food and trade 6,000 years ago. Today Oman is looking to reel in capital to finance next-generation fish farming enterprises across the country.

Aquaculture, the practice of farming fish and shellfish, contributes to almost half of the world’s seafood production. And as fish populations drop and the world’s hunger for seafood continues to grow, aquaculture will become even more important.

According to Sajda al Ghaithy, media director at Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export development agency, aquaculture presents a significant opportunity to attract inward investment, create jobs, boost exports as well as enhance the country’s food security.

Source: Muscat Daily

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IN BRIEF - Mackerel picking up south of Hvalbak
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IN BRIEF - Study reveals new salmon species
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Viet Nam
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South Africa
Aug 18, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fishermen’s oil exploration project worry
Aug 18, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Official pulled up for delay in distribution of RFID cards to fishermen
Aug 18, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fishermen to get weather information on phone
New Zealand
Aug 18, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Four illegal fishers netted during large scale regional crackdown
United States
Aug 18, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - NOAA designates critical habitat for Atlantic sturgeon

Hy-Vee deepens its commitment to responsibly sourced seafood products
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North Korean seafood trucks get stuck on the border
China The government of a city in Northeast China is currently negotiating with North Korean authorities over the seafood trucks that are stuck between the two countries' customs ports of the countries.
Fish actively seek plastic debris in ocean, study finds
United States A new study reveals that there is behavioural evidence suggesting that marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food.
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