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IN BRIEF - Illegal Indonesian fishing numbers plummet, but rubbish still drifting into NT waters

INDONESIA
Friday, May 03, 2019

Cases of illegal foreign vessels intercepted in Northern Australian waters have plummeted in recent years, according to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), but another "concerning" new issue is raising its head.

Instances of large, rogue fishing pontoons being retrieved after drifting into Australian waters has more than tripled in the past year, from five in 2017/18, to 18 already in 2018/19.

The figures come off the back of a suspected illegal Indonesian fishing vessel being seized by authorities in NT waters off East Arnhem Land late last month, which resulted in the apprehension of 14 crew members and the discovery of hundreds of kilograms of frozen fish.

Source: ABC


IN BRIEF - And finally some good news: oyster farms could flourish once again

MALTA
Friday, May 03, 2019

When we think of mass habitat extinction, colourful, diverse and highly visible ecosystems such as tropical rain forests and coral reefs come to mind. Approximately half of global shallow water coral reefs and forests have been lost over the last few hundred years, but there are glimmers of hope. Deforestation rates are declining and some corals have shown resilience to stress from climate change.

A far less visible ecosystem crisis has occurred relatively recently beneath the ocean’s surface. A study revealed that 85% of global oyster reefs have been lost over the last 150 years. Of those remaining, over one third are so depleted that they no longer function as ecosystems, particularly those in Europe, North America and Australia. Only a few healthy oyster reefs remain in South America, and even these are 50% of their prior abundance, making oyster reefs one of the most threatened habitats on Earth.

Oysters are “ecosystem engineers” like corals – they create three-dimensional structures as they settle and grow on each other. Left undisturbed, these oyster reefs provide a habitat for an incredible biodiversity of organisms, serving as a food source, nursery ground and refuge for many species, boosting fish stocks.

Source: Times of Malta


IN BRIEF - Nigel Farage picks apart 'MAD' EU fishing rules – 'BETRAYED more than anybody'

UNITED KINGDOM
Thursday, May 02, 2019

NIGEL FARAGE delivered a passionate message about British fishermen claiming they need the UK to fully cut ties with the European Union "more than anybody" as he criticised EU red tape.

Nigel Farage took a huge dig at European Union regulation for damaging the livelihoods of British fishermen. The Brexit Party leader, who has previously branded fishing the “acid test” of Brexit, described EU fishing rules as “madness” during a passionate message. He said: “Here’s a little story for you about a boat fishing here last week.

Source: Express


IN BRIEF - Louisiana bill requiring disclosure of imported shrimp advances

UNITED STATES
Thursday, May 02, 2019

THIBODAUX, La. - Due to the health risks associated with foreign shrimp, a bill in the House would require restaurants to notify consumers if its seafood is imported.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Jerry “Truck” Gisclair, D-Larose, unanimously passed through the House Committee on Health and Welfare on Thursday 2nd of May 2019.

In 2018, shrimpers along Louisiana’s coast called for state and federal legislators to provide some assistance during tough economic times.

Source: WWL TV


IN BRIEF - As some fisheries crashed, lobster and aquaculture filled the gap

UNITED STATES
Thursday, May 02, 2019

Maine’s wild fisheries have experienced numerous challenges over the past 25 years. A booming lobster resource has helped keep fishermen employed. And emerging aquaculture sectors are viewed as having great potential for diversifying the economy.

As the shrimp fishery and groundfish like cod and haddock have faded as a part of Maine’s fishery, the past few decades have seen the expansion of oyster and Atlantic salmon farming. Lobster fishing has remained a constant and Maine lobster is the product most identified with the state.

Yet there’s been an ongoing effort to maintain diversity in the fisheries.

A major advance in the growing of farmed salmon is the system of site rotation and “fallowing” — similar to farming on land, which was developed by Cooke Aquaculture at sites Downeast and in New Brunswick. The system has become a model nationwide.

Source: Maine Biz


IN BRIEF - The high seas danger to workers in Taiwan’s fishing fleet

TAIWAN
Thursday, May 02, 2019

On 20 February, the Taiwan-flagged Wen Peng became the site of an alleged double murder at sea. According to Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency, a conflict broke out about 900 nautical miles off the south coast of Sri Lanka between fishermen and the boat’s chief officer, who allegedly killed one Filipino and one Indonesian. Six other foreign crew members were reportedlyforced to jump into the sea and were never found.

The incident happened just days after five Filipino fishermen went missing after the Taiwan-flagged Jung Ron caught fire off the Falkland Islands. Despite Taiwan’s 2017 introduction of the Act for Distant Water Fisheries – a response to high-profile incidents of illegal fishing and murder at sea – the nation’s roughly 2,000 deep sea vessels (some acknowledged to operate under flags of convenience), this instances only only underscored the shocking dangers aboard a Taiwanese high seas fishing vessel.

Taiwan’s estimated US$2 billion fishing industry operates over a third of the world’s longline tuna vessels. Taiwan says its deep sea vessels employ about 26,000 foreign crew members, although NGOs and US agencies put the number closer to 160,000. These fishermen frequently report non-payment, long work hours, and verbal and physical abuse, often at the hands of Taiwanese captains.

Source: The Interpreter


IN BRIEF - Governor: With bacteria-free farmed shrimp, Guam could be aquaculture capital of Pacific

UNITED STATES
Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Farming bacteria-free shrimp may just be Guam's ticket to becoming the aquaculture capital of the Pacific, which could rake in billions of dollars in annual revenue in this side of the world, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.

With Guam importing some USD 10 million worth of seafood products annually, aquaculture is also one place the island can turn to for local food security.

The governor on Tuesday signed an executive order creating the Guam Aquaculture Task Force, which will reinvigorate efforts to develop an aquaculture industry starting with shrimp farming.

Source: Guam PDN


IN BRIEF - Alaskan halibut, caught by a century-old Seattle boat, provides a glimpse of Amazon's strategy with Whole Foods

UNITED STATES
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Seattle - From the deck of his 106-year-old halibut schooner, undergoing a seasonal overhaul at Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle, skipper Wade Bassi has better insight than most into what's happening at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market, at least as pertains to the product he knows best.

While he doesn't buy halibut much he's got a freezer full of it Bassi, 43 years a fisherman, keeps an eye on how it's handled and presented in the grocery stores and fish markets.

"When you look at nice halibut, I mean it is pure white," he said. "And it is flaky-looking, and it is beautiful. It's translucent. If you've got that in the fish market, people are going to buy it."

Source: MCall


IN BRIEF - Growing Demand for Sustainable Health & Nutrition Products

UNITED STATES
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The number of fish oil products carrying the blue ecolabel by MSC (Marine Stewardship Council)has grown to over 650. Consumers today have an unprecedented choice of fish oil supplements which are derived from certified sustainable fisheries.

All over Europe, there is a growing awareness for environmental protection and sustainability. A rapidly increasing number of consumers are asking for sustainable seafood. 
At the same time, Europe is facing a growing consumer demand for supplements based on Omega-3 rich fish oils. It is important to ensure that the fish and krill needed for these products are caught sustainably and without causing irreparable harm to the marine environment.

For many, eating certified sustainable fish, as part of a balanced diet, is an effective way of ensuring that we receive the nutrients, protein and oils we need. But there is also a growing preference to supplement diets with fish based products in the form of Omega-3 rich fish oils.

Source: Tekno Scienze


IN BRIEF - Huffman Announces Release of Nearly USD 30 Million in Fisheries Disaster Funding

UNITED STATES
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

More than a year after Congress appropriated the funds, members of the the North Coast's commercial fishing industry and a local tribe are slated to receive federal disaster support in the coming months, Rep. Jared Huffman announced this morning.

“Tribes, hardworking fishermen, their families, and coastal communities have been stuck in limbo for far too long waiting for the federal support they deserve,” said Huffman in a press release. “Congress provided this disaster relief funding more than a year ago, but the Trump administration has dragged out the process. Their delays and roadblocks have added unnecessary pain for the tribes and fishing communities who are already dealing with closed fisheries and serious economic hardship.”

The USD 29.7 million in federal assistance funding is slated to be released to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission on June 1, then distributed to local businesses and individuals, per the press release. The funding was made available through an appropriations bill passed in February of 2018 in response to fisheries disasters dating back to 2015, which included the closures of the 2015-2016 Dungeness crab season and the Yurok Tribe’s 2016 salmon season.

Source: North Coast Journal


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