Fishing

As Ocean Becomes Killing Field, Fish We Eat Dwindle

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 3, 2015   View Article

Over the past century, the biomass of predatory fish in the world’s oceans has declined by about two thirds, according to fisheries scientists. In the voids left by the cod, halibut, salmon, and tuna are increasing populations of forage fish, which are short-lived and vulnerable to environmental change such as ocean waters that are warming and becoming more acidic in response to global climate change.

“What this doesn’t boil down to is the sea is suddenly full of sardines and anchovies and other small things that we like to eat,” Villy Christensen, an ecosystem modeler at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, said. “It is to a large extent small fish that we don’t eat that have benefited; because sardines and anchovies, those are fisheries … we keep fishing those.”

Climate Warming Driving Native Trout to Extinction, Study Says

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 25, 2014   View Article

Montana fly fishing guide and shop owner Jason Lanier hooks a feisty rainbow trout almost every day he hits the waters in the lower valley of the Flathead River system. From an angler’s perspective, the catch is a thrill. Rainbows put up a good fight, much better than the one offered by the state’s native westslope cutthroat trout.

“And cutthroats that have some rainbow genetics in them typically fight harder for sure,” the owner of the Bigfork Anglers Fly Shop told NBC News.

About 20 million rainbows were stocked in the river system that spans Montana and southern British Columbia, Canada, from the late 1800s to 1969. The fish can, and do, mate with cutthroats. This hybridization may drive the genetically pure natives to extinction, according to Clint Muhlfeld, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in West Glacier, Mont.

What’s more, climate change is accelerating the hybridization process, according to new research led by Muhlfeld. “This is the first example we are aware of that has shown how invasive hybridization has probably spread due to climate warming,” he told NBC News.

Warming seas changing what fish are for dinner, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 15, 2013   View Article

Warming oceans are pushing fish toward the poles in search of cooler waters, according to a study that raises new concerns that climate change is robbing the tropics of a primary source of income and nutrition.

Meanwhile, in higher latitudes, data show that trawlers are hauling more warm-water fish out of the ocean – a phenomenon that will change what shows up on menus at locavore restaurants from Cape Town to Tokyo.

“There’ll be changes in the kinds of fish that are available to people who would like to follow that kind of (eating local) strategy,” Michael Fogarty, a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, told NBC News.

Pictures: Millions of Sea Turtles Killed Accidentally?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 6, 2010   View Article

Entangled and drowned in a fishing net off the coast of Brazil, these green sea turtles in an undated picture are just a few of the millions of sea turtles that have been unintentionally killed by fishing operations over the past 20 years, according to a study released today by the journal Conservation Letters.

“Of all the threats sea turtles face right now, bycatch is the most serious,” said Bryan Wallace, a marine biologist with Conservation International and lead author of the study.

The study pulls together data from around the world on sea turtle deaths from nets, hooks, and trawls – and questions the estimates of previous reports.

Dolphin Numbers Still Low Despite “Safe” Tuna Fishing, Experts Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 26, 2007   View Article

Spotted and spinner dolphin populations in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have yet to recover, despite nearly 20 years of friendlier tuna fishing practices, researchers say.

But no one is quite sure why the dolphins are having a hard time bouncing back.

Seafood May Be Gone by 2048, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2006   View Article

Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.

According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed. If the long-term trend continues, in 30 years there will be little or no seafood available for sustainable harvest.

Artificial Reefs Made With Sunken Subway Cars, Navy Ships

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 18, 2006   View Article

Along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Georgia, thousands of fish are crammed into subway cars—but they’re going nowhere fast, and recreational fishers couldn’t be happier.

The subway cars, along with armored tanks, naval ships, tugboats, and a large amount of concrete culverts, were strategically dumped in the ocean to serve as artificial reefs.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach