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IN BRIEF - Halibut fishery certified as sustainable

Friday, February 17, 2017

Alaska’s halibut fishery has been awarded continued certification to the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Program, according to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Association.

The Alaska halibut fishery was first certified to the RFM certification program in April 2011 and in early 2016 began the process of reassessment, with the Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association serving as the client for the fishery.

ASMI chose its responsible fisheries management model based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations code and guidelines, which meets the highest benchmarks for credible certification.

The Alaska RFM program is a voluntary and internationally accredited certification assessment of whether an Alaska fishery is responsibly managed based on strict criteria, including fisheries standards and chain of custody standards.

Source: The Cordova Times

IN BRIEF - New Hampshire man captures rare blue lobster, donates to science

Friday, July 21, 2017

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - A New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Greg Ward initially thought he had snagged an albino lobster when he examined his catch Monday off the coast where New Hampshire borders Maine. The Rye lobsterman quickly realized his hard-shell lobster was a unique blue and cream color.

He gave the rare crustacean to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire, to study and put on display.

Center aquarist Rob Royer says Ward's blue lobster will go on display in the "exotic" lobster tank once it acclimates to the water.

Source: CBS News

IN BRIEF - How do we assess the welfare of farmed salmon?

Friday, July 21, 2017

We can’t ask a fish how it feels. Scientists have now compiled a manual for fish farmers and other interested stakeholders on what indicators to use to assess farmed salmon welfare.

A recent research project called FISHWELL has published a 305 page manual on how to assess the welfare of farmed salmon in different production systems and husbandry practices.

The project is a collaboration between the food research institute Nofima, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Nord University in Bodø and the University of Stirling in the UK and received close to seven million kroner from the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF).

Source: NOFIMA

IN BRIEF - The Fight for Healthy Fisheries Resurfaces in Congress

Friday, July 21, 2017

On July the 20th 2017, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Oceans Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the law that governs our nation’s fisheries in federal waters. The hearing presented an opportunity for decision makers to discuss the law’s remarkable achievements—including successfully rebuilding 43 once-depleted stocks and supporting 1.6 million jobs—and strategies to further these successes. While some of that happened, at other points, the hearing devolved into an unproductive exercise in finger-pointing and a platform for members to advocate for what has been a growing list of proposals to undermine the core tenets of sustainable fisheries management.

America’s ocean fisheries are some of the best managed in the world, and our success is owed to the MSA’s science-based management framework. 

In the 1980s and 90s, fish populations across the country were in decline due to overfishing, and some of our nation’s most iconic stocks (such as cod, flounder, and haddock in New England) had crashed. But lawmakers and fishermen rose to the occasion, and the health of our nation’s fisheries and coastal economies improved as a result. Thanks to requirements that fishery managers end overfishing through science-based catch limits and rebuild overfished stocks in as short a time as possible not to exceed ten years (with certain limited exceptions), many of our fish populations have come back from the brink after decades of chronic overfishing. (For more on this, see our report evaluating the rebuilding requirement’s effectiveness, “Bringing Back the Fish.”)

Source: NRDC

IN BRIEF - Durban fishermen want access to all traditional fishing grounds

Friday, July 21, 2017

Environmentalists are also outraged over ExxonMobil’s plans to drill for oil and gas off Durban’s southern coastline.

Fisherfolks in Durban say they want government to grant them access to traditional fishing grounds all along the Indian Ocean coastline, reports the Berea Mail.

According to the fishermen, Japanese, Chinese and other international trawlers are being allowed to fish during the winter months, thereby depriving local fishermen of sardines and shad that are in abundance at this time.

The KZN Subsistence Fishermen’s Forum (KZNSFF), together with the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), held a fisherman’s walk on Durban’s Promenade on Saturday to raise awareness for the plight of fisherfolk.

Source: The Citizen

IN BRIEF - Arsenic in Seafood May Impact Thyroid Health

Friday, July 21, 2017

Arsenic is known to affect thyroid activity, leading to increased levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Since TSH is an important hormone for normal metabolism, a recent study investigated whether arsenic in seafood affects thyroid activity.

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone released from the pituitary gland. It stimulates the thyroid to capture iodine from the blood needed to produce enzymes that are crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism. However, a number of studies have shown that increased arsenic consumption can lead to disrupted function of the thyroid and interrupt normal metabolism. In fact, the World Health Organization considers arsenic as one of the ten major public health concerns. In this recent study published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, the authors question the role of arsenic rich foods and how they may contribute to interrupted thyroid function. This study focused on seafood, as it has some of the highest arsenic content.

The study included 38 healthy men and women between the ages of 20 and 40 years who were selected to consume 150g of salmon, cod, or blue mussels for 14 days. A control group ate 150g of potatoes instead. Before and after this eating regimen, the subjects had blood samples taken in order to measure arsenic, iodine and selenium (all chemicals that are indicative of thyroid activity). Included in the blood analysis were the enzymes that reflect the exact levels of thyroid activity, to fully showcase the effects of arsenic consumption.

Source: Medical News Bulletin

IN BRIEF - The police investigating Norwegian pike mafia

Friday, July 21, 2017

The police will investigate what fish managers suspect is organized illegal stocking of pike in several places in the country.

It is Fish Manager Anton Rikstad at the County Governor’s office in North Trøndelag who introduces the phrase.

– I fear that there is a gang who are fanatically keen on fishing large pikes. Therefore, I call them the ‘pike mafia’. I do not know where or who they are. But there is something mystical about this, says Rikstad NRK.

The predatory fish is still illegally released in Norway, and it is the capture of two pikes in the Hovdalsvatnet drinking water source at Frosta in Nord-Trøndelag last week, which causes Rikstad to react.

Source: Norway Today

IN BRIEF - Yukon sees return of the kings: This year's chinook salmon run strongest in more than a decade

Friday, July 21, 2017

After years of returns that ranged between frighteningly low and middling, prospects for chinook salmon on the Yukon River may have finally turned a corner. Even with this year’s run not yet complete, escapement goals on lower Yukon counting stations have already been met and exceeded. As pulses of fish make their way up the river, it appears near certain the fish returning to spawn will comfortably satisfy Alaska Department of Fish and Game escapement goals and treaty obligations with Canada. That’s great news for a fishery upon which dozens of Interior villages rely, and a hopeful sign that a rebound for Yukon chinooks may now be in full effect.

Pilot Station is the sonar project that provides Fish and Game with a snapshot of the run strength as salmon begin swimming upstream from the Bering Sea. Salmon begin swimming past in early June and are now close to the end of their transit past the station. The 258,946 chinooks that have passed by the Pilot Station sonar so far this year make the run the strongest since 2005 (259,015 chinooks total) and a near-certainty to become the strongest run since 2003, when 318,088 chinooks came up the river. That year was the strongest in more than 20 years of counting — the largest chinook run since 1995, the earliest year that sonar counts are available.

Of course, a strong run at the mouth of the river doesn’t mean salmon will necessarily make it upstream to spawn. But the numbers do tend to scale in a fairly predictable manner, such that if a run is extremely strong at the mouth, there will almost certainly be a healthy number of fish that escape to spawn and replenish the river’s stock. In 2005, for instance, the year in which the run’s numbers were most closely similar to this year’s, more than 80,000 chinooks crossed the border into Canada near Eagle, not only satisfying the minimum treaty obligation of 42,500 fish but also its upper guidance of 65,000 needed to help ensure a healthier return. Already this year, many smaller tributaries of the Yukon have met their escapement goals, though rivers close to Fairbanks, such as the Salcha, have had difficulty making accurate counts because of high water.

Source: News Miner

IN BRIEF - Conservation groups want measures to protect declining salmon

Friday, July 21, 2017

With Atlantic salmon stocks collapsing in many rivers across the province, conservation groups are calling on the federal government to implement new regulations to allow the species to rebound. NTV’s Don Bradshaw reports.

Source: NTV

IN BRIEF - Senate Receives National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Bill

Friday, July 21, 2017

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted to the Liberian Senate for enactment a Bill titled: An Act to Amend Title 23, Natural Resources Law, Liberian Code Revised by Repealing Subchapter B, Fish Resources and to amend title 30, Public Authorities Law to create the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority.

The Bureau of Fisheries has been under the Ministry of Agriculture, until it was recently transferred to the Liberia Maritime Authority under an Executive Order.

In her communication dated June 24, 2017, President Sirleaf noted the object of the Act is to ensure the long-term management, conservation, development and sustainable use of the fisheries and aquaculture resources and related ecosystems for the benefit of the people.

Source: All Africa

IN BRIEF - DNA Tracking Tool Tips the Scales for Distinguishing Invasive Fish

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Rather than conduct an aquatic roll call with nets to know which fish reside in a particular body of water, scientists can now use DNA fragments suspended in water to catalog invasive or native species.

“We’ve sharpened the environmental DNA (eDNA) tool, so that if a river or a lake has threatened, endangered or invasive species, we can ascertain genetic detail of the species there,” said senior author David Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “Using eDNA, scientists can better design management options for eradicating invasive species, or saving and restoring endangered species.”

Additionally, by sampling DNA fragments in water and using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which acts like a genetic copying machine to make billions of copies of the DNA for study, scientists can collect fish habitat data without the need to capture fish.

Source: Laboratory Equipment

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United States
Jul 21, 07:30 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - The Fight for Healthy Fisheries Resurfaces in Congress
Jul 21, 07:30 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - How do we assess the welfare of farmed salmon?
United States
Jul 21, 07:30 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - New Hampshire man captures rare blue lobster, donates to science
Jul 21, 07:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Arsenic in Seafood May Impact Thyroid Health
South Africa
Jul 21, 07:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Durban fishermen want access to all traditional fishing grounds
Jul 21, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Senate Receives National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Bill
Jul 21, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Conservation groups want measures to protect declining salmon
United States
Jul 21, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Yukon sees return of the kings: This year's chinook salmon run strongest in more than a decade
Jul 21, 03:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - The police investigating Norwegian pike mafia
United States
Jul 21, 02:20 (GMT + 9):
NGO urges international entity to probe Hawaii's fleet labour conditions
Jul 21, 01:30 (GMT + 9):
Strong financial support to boost offshore aquaculture
United States
Jul 21, 01:20 (GMT + 9):
Codfather’s associate convicted in cash smuggling scheme
Jul 21, 00:10 (GMT + 9):
Sagarpa and Semar to collaborate in Mexican waters fishing inspection and surveillance
Jul 20, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Record-breaking marine heatwave harms Tasmanian fisheries
Jul 20, 23:10 (GMT + 9):
Researchers offer additional shrimp disease testing service

Whale shark capture and trade banned
Peru The Ministry of Production announced a ban on whale shark (Rhincodon typus) capture in marine waters of Peruvian jurisdiction as well as its landing, transportation, retention, processing and marketing.
Thailand to make bigger effort against IUU fishing, according to the EU
Thailand The Thai government's efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing seem to be insufficient for the European Commission to withdraw the 'yellow card' issued to that country.
Industry praises financial aid for paua fishermen
New Zealand Seafood New Zealand has welcomed the financial assistance package announced by the Government for the Kaikoura commercial paua divers, who have been under considerable financial stress since last year’s earthquake.
Important research progress made in disease-resistant seaweed
United Kingdom A team of scientists conducting research into the genetic make-up of a resilient red alga is a step closer to breeding disease-resistant seaweed.
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