IN BRIEF - Congress Is About to Gut the Law That Restored Our Fisheries
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Every now and then, lawmakers, advocates, scientists, and stakeholders come together in good faith, find common ground, and work amicably with one another to craft sound public policy that ends up benefiting both people and the environment. When it happens, we rightly applaud—and wish aloud that it would happen more often.
A prime example is the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or the MSA for short. Named for the Pacific Northwest senators—one Democrat, one Republican—who vigorously championed its passage back in 1976, the MSA codified into law a responsible, sustainable, science-based approach to our nation’s fisheries management. In doing so, it created the legal framework for rules that prevent overfishing, conserve fishery resources, preserve habitats, and safeguard the long-term health of the marine environment.
Over the years, the MSA has done more than any other piece of legislation to protect and replenish our fish and shellfish populations, which remain highly vulnerable to depletion caused by overfishing. Updates and amendments to the MSA have been crucial to helping fisheries managers rebuild their stocks, and this in turn has helped the many stakeholders that depend on fisheries—not only fishermen, seafood suppliers, and restaurateurs, but all the businesses that support them—stay afloat amid shifting economic tides. (In 2015, commercial and recreational fishing generated an estimated USD 207.6 billion in sales impactsthroughout the U.S. economy.)
The official reason more than a million fish have died in a river in Australia is the hot dry weather, which has caused drought in New South Wales among other areas.
Amid the arid conditions, large algal blooms have drawn the oxygen out of the water, killing all the fish in stretches of the Darling River.
Tides of dead fish are now lining the banks where they are rotting quickly in record breaking temperatures which have seen parts of New South Wales facing an entire week over 40C, and highs of 46C in the area where the fish died.
A clean-up operation is underway, but water experts have warned that more fish are likely to die as the heatwave conditions continue. (Source: Harry Cockburn | )
In recent years increasing aquaculture production combined with a high variance in availability and cost of fishmeal and fish oil commodities, has led to a need to identify alternative source materials for protein and the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which fish oil is prized for containing.
Chloroplasts are the organelles in plants’ leaves where many of the valuable nutrients, fatty acids (FAs), amino acids, vitamins and pigments, are synthesised.
Chloroplasts could be incorporated into fish diets either retained in, or liberated from, plant cells. In this study zebrafish were fed with seven different diets individually; fish was fed with reducing fishmeal levels (10, 20 or 50%) by either spinach leaf powder (SLP) or a chloroplast rich fraction (CRF) prepared by an established method to recover chloroplasts. Both SLP and CRF had a positive impact on growth, taste response, whole fishFA composition, and carotenoid profile.
Fish fed with CRF diets showed significantly (P=0.05) greater a-linolenic (C18:3 n-3) and hexadecatrienoic (C16:3) acids content than those of SLP and the control. Hexadecanoic acid (C16:3) is a unique FA in the galactolipids of the chloroplast; its presence in zebrafish tissues proves that zebrafish digest and absorb chloroplast galactolipids.
Lutein profile of eggs produced by zebrafish fed with CRF diet was significantly (P=0.05) higher than that of SLP and control. Alterations in egg colour were also noted, warranting further investigations of diet impacts on fish fecundity, embryo fertility, hatch rate and larval survival. (Source: )
Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans appears ready to allow lobster fishing inside the proposed Eastern Shore Islands marine protected area.
A draft ecological risk assessment prepared by the department says the local lobster fishery poses little risk of harming juvenile Atlantic cod, eel grass and kelp beds.
"Based on the results summarized above, the Department does not propose additional restrictions for the lobster fishery within a future MPA," Wendy Williams, a DFO director in the Maritimes, said in a recent letter to stakeholders.
Significant eel grass and kelp beds and a cod nursery are unique ecological features within the 2,000 square-kilometre area — a pristine Nova Scotia archipelago of hundreds of islands that stretches from Clam Harbour, near Jeddore Harbour, to Barren Island, near Liscomb Point. (Source: Paul Withers · CBC News)
A Farm Agrotech Sdn Bhd, one of the leading Malaysian fish farming companies, plans to implement a project to create a cluster in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan, Trend reports citing the Uzbek media.
The intensive fish farming cluster will specialize in the integrated farming of fish and fry, the production of fish food with high protein content, as well as the processing and storage of fish products.
It should be noted that A Farm Agrotech Sdn Bhd has a modern energy-efficient technology that provides the production of more than 10 species of fish and fry. The company's weekly fish production is more than 10 tons. The products are exported to China and Southeast Asia.
The innovative approach of the company is the production of special fish food made of fruit and vegetables with the addition of minerals essential for the effective and fast development and growth of fish.
On January 24, it is planned to hold negotiations with the fish industry companies of Uzbekistan to discuss further plans for the implementation of this investment project.
From consuming a large number of fresh fish during special occasions, to the average Samoan eating canned fish throughout the week - fish, in Samoa, is known to be one of the most important sources of protein and nutrients available to the inhabitants of the small island nation.
Whether fresh, frozen, or canned, Fish is crucial to the Samoan diet which makes protecting this resource an important, but at times demanding, task.
And here’s the not-so-good news; according to United Nation’s – “Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Fisheries of the Pacific Islands Regional and National Information” report, 2018, the Islands of Samoa are relatively new in a geological sense. With fairly small lagoons, Samoa’s inshore fishing areas are limited compared to those of many other Pacific Island Countries.
This means that any fishing activity causes more pressure than usual within Samoa’s inshore fishing areas.
But not to fear; over the years, through the efforts of Samoa’s Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the United Nations Development Programme/ Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme (UNDP/GEF-SGP), Aus-AID through the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), and others, Samoa has come up with a solution to this increased pressure – and this solution comes in the form of a small freshwater fish called the Tilapia. (Source: By Vatapuia Maiava For Conservation International)
New closed seasons for titi shrimp established Ecuador
The Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries has established new closed seasons for penaeid shrimp for the 2019 season, in order to protect these resources during their breeding and recruitment periods