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Fisheries

This category contains 94 posts
Sharks, tuna and barracuda at a fish market in Oman (Image credit: piknik via flickr, CC BY-NC-ND).

Should all shark fishing be banned?

It might seem like a no-brainer to ban shark fishing as well as the sale and trade of shark products. But scientists wonder: is there a more effective management strategy? Read more to find out!

Figure 1: A school of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Source: http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/fish2001.htm)

What can tuna tell us about mercury emissions?

North America’s mercury emissions have declined over the last two decades. Researchers have found a connection between the declining emissions and the mercury level in tuna. Read more to find out how they made this link and what it could mean for the future.

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Fisheries and Food Security

Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations?

Figure 4: Schematic of the seagrass bed food web. Detritus from the seagrass decays in the sediment, where chemosynthetic bacteria in the clam gills are able to use sulfur to turn it into carbohydrates.  The lobsters eat the clams (20% of their diet) and are then taken into a $17.4 million fishing industry. Source: Higgs et al. 2016.

All Food Does NOT Come from the Sun

Excerpt: We’re taught at a young age that all food comes from the sun via photosynthesis. But, does it really? Read on to find out about a major fishery that is underpinned by chemosynthetic primary production!

Pseudo-nitzschia, a species of diatom that produces the neurotoxin domoic acid. (Wikipedia)

A toxic toasty blob: warm water in the Pacific provides a happy home for poisonous algae

A warm blob at the ocean surface, fishery closures, and unhappy marine mammals – what do all these things have in common? The answer is microscopic: a toxic type of algae called Pseudo-nitzschia thrives when temperatures are warm and nutrients are plentiful. It poisons the shellfish that feed marine mammals and support a multi-million dollar fishing industry.

A mother and baby sperm whale.

A Whale Shaped Needle in a Ocean Sized Haystack

Sperm whales are very large, but they can still be tricky to find in the ocean! These researchers combined several data sets, from centuries old whaling records to modern automated location recording, to determine the locations off the southwest Australia most suitable for sperm whales, so policy makers can plan to protect these animals and other scientists can save time searching for them.

Fig. 3. Entangled Sea Turtle. Source: NOAA.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

Fish Market (Credit: Jim, Flickr, CC-BY-SA)

Why do restaurants join sustainable seafood labelling programs?

Why do some restaurants join sustainable seafood eco-labeling programs? A new study identifies some motivating factors that can help the continued expansion of these programs to enhance their ability to harness consumer demand and encourage positive change in seafood production.

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Ancient swimmers: Greenland sharks live for centuries

Using radiocarbon dating, scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark can live longer than any other known vertebrate. How long have some of these individuals been alive?

Listening for Symptoms: A new use for hydrophones in the face of harmful algal blooms

Whales aren’t the only animals hydrophones can detect out in the ocean. In fact, in the near future it might be possible to listen in on animals like scallops and determine if they’re healthy or not. Intrigued? Click here for more!

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How badly do coral reefs and sharks need each other?

Overfishing threatens the populations of reef sharks that act as the top of the food chain on coral reefs. Their presence keeps the ecosystem in balance and without them, the reefs themselves are at risk of being overtaken by algae and losing much of the diversity they support. But is the story really that simple?

Coral fish

Changing with the environment: how resilient are coral reef fish?

Coral reef fish are some of the most sensitive animals to climate change. How will coral reef fish respond to predicted increases in temperature and carbon dioxide? Do they have the ability to adapt to future conditions or is it already too late?

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When life gives you dead mussels, make…lobsters?

Many industries have been trying to figure out how to make their waste products into useful raw materials for other products. Read on to find out how mussel aquaculture could contribute to your next lobster dinner!

Young alevin of a Pacific species, the chum salmon.

You look like your mom: parental effects in Atlantic salmon

In honour of our Mother’s Day theme week, we’ll look at how the environment experienced by parents during reproduction and their early life history influences their offspring.

Figure 1: There are less fish in the sea then there were just a few decades ago. Image from World Wildlife Fund

Earth Week: Overview on Overfishing

We rely heavily on the oceans as a source of food. Unfortunately, fish populations have declined by over 50 percent over the past several decades. This can spell disaster for us and ocean ecosystems. Read on for to find out more about how we are impacting the oceans through overfishing.

Pacific sardines live in a sensitive coastal ecosystem. Recently warm winter waters on the US west coast have caused many sardines to seek more northern, colder waters. Credit: NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

Ports, Pups, Policy, and Low Sardine Stocks

While sardine stocks are seeing disturbingly low numbers along the US west coast, affecting fishermen and marine mammals that depend on them, scientists are working hard to provide forecast modeling and data than can better assist fishery managers to avoid this situation in the future.

Figure 1: anemone fish (sometimes called clown fishes) are protandrous hermaphrodites. Image from: Krzysztof Odziomek/Shutterstock, retrieved from theatlantic.com

Sea of Love: Hermaphroditic fishes

Finding a date on Valentine’s Day can be hard! Whether you are single or in a relationship, we are trying to make your week a little brighter by sharing some tales of romance from the ocean. Today we will look at the answer some fishes have found for not being able to find a suitable date: they just change their gender!

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The Search for Dolly Varden

A fish that has contributed greatly to subsistence farming in Alaska might face negative impacts of human development and become the victim of a misunderstanding for the second time in as many centuries. Click here to find out more!

CodFathers

The Codfathers: Holding the Keys to Success in Warming Oceans

Atlantic cod stocks have struggled to recover from overfishing for decades. Warming oceans will make a cod recovery even more difficult as the cold water fish struggle to reproduce in warmer waters. A new study in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology examines if fathers play an important role in generating offspring that are better adapted for warmer waters.

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Disoriented fish are getting lost at sea!

Young fish rely on sound cues to navigate the vast ocean, but as our oceans acidify, the journey home to safely settle becomes much more difficult. Disoriented and slow, these fish are getting lost at sea

oceanbites photostream

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