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Archive for the ‘fish’ Category

Chinook Salmon Fisheries Collapsing

Posted by feww on April 13, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES

Chinook salmon stocks are collapsing. West Coast fisheries managers recommended all commercial and sport salmon fishing in coastal waters off California and most of Oregon be halted to preserve collapsing Chinook salmon stocks.

“This is a disaster for West Coast salmon fisheries,” said Don Hansen, chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Between 2000 and 2005, the annual catch for Chinook salmon in California and Oregon fisheries was about 800,000, according to the council.


Chinook Salmon (male) around spawning time. (Photo Credit: USGS)

In 2002, 775,000 Chinook salmon returned to the Sacramento River to spawn; however, the managers project only 54,000 Chinook will return this year even with the fishing restrictions imposed. Report

Additional Information (Source)

Chinook salmon may spend between one to eight years in the ocean before returning to their home rivers to spawn, though the average is three to four years. Chinook prefer larger and deeper water to spawn in than other species of salmon and can be found on the spawning redds (nests) from September through to December. After laying eggs in a redd, adult female Chinook will guard the redd from 4 to 25 days before dying, while males look for additional mates. Chinook salmon eggs will hatch, depending upon water temperatures, 90 to 150 days after deposition. Eggs are deposited at a time to ensure that young salmon fry emerge during appropriate time for juvenile survival and growth.

Chinook salmon range from San Francisco Bay in California to north of the Bering Strait in Alaska, and the arctic waters of Canada and Russia (the Chukchi Sea ), including the entire Pacific coast in between. Populations occur in Asia as far south as the islands of Japan. In Russia, they are found in Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands.

[Update: May 1, 2008]

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Thursday closed almost all of the ocean off the West Coast to salmon fishing, clearing the way for governors of states hard hit by years of declining catches to seek federal relief aid for losses estimated at $290 million. (Source)

Posted in fish, marine, oceans, Pacific, Pacific Fishery Management Council, spawn, West Coast fisheries | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part I

Posted by feww on March 14, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES – Our Oceans Are Now Dying!

Ocean “deserts” are expanding much faster than predicted, according to a new study by the University of Hawaii and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA.

It is believed that the ocean “desertification,” which is caused by the warming of sea surface waters, may result in the population decline of many fish species.

globe2s.jpg
Black areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the least productive. (Credit NOAA)

“Between 1998 and 2007, these expanses of saltwater with low surface plant life in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans grew by 15 percent or 6.6 million square kilometers, according to the study which appears in Geophysical Research Letters. The expansion is occurring at the same time that sea surface temperatures are warming about one percent or .02 to .04 degrees Celsius a year. The warming increases stratification of the ocean waters, preventing deep ocean nutrients from rising to the surface and creating plantlife.”

The evidence of this expansion comes from data collected by a sensor aboard NASA’s orbiting SeaStar spacecraft. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, called SeaWiFS, is a unique tool that maps ocean biological productivity around the globe. This visual sensor reads reflective color to measure the density of chlorophyll in phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that are the base of the marine food web.”

These barren areas are found in roughly 20 percent of the world’s oceans and are within subtropical gyres—the swirling expanses of water on either side of the equator.”

globe1-s2.jpg
Dark blue areas in this figure of the global distribution of chlorophyll
are the areas with the least surface chlorophyll. (Credit NASA)

As for the remaining 80 percent area of world’s oceans …

See Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part II


References:

  • Landry, C.A., S. Manning, and A.O. Cheek. 2004. Hypoxia suppresses reproduction in Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis. e.hormone 2004 conference. Oct. 27-30. New Orleans.
  • Murphy, C. . . . P. Thomas, et al. 2004. Modeling the effects of multiple anthropogenic and environmental stressors on Atlantic croaker populations using nested simulation models and laboratory data. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Johanning, K., et al. 2004. Assessment of molecular interaction between low oxygen and estrogen in fish cell culture. Fourth SETAC World Congress, 25th Annual Meeting in North America. Nov. 14-18. Portland, Ore.
  • Nutrients in the Nation’s Waters–Too Much of a Good Thing? U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1136.

Related Links:

See Also:  Our Dying Oceans (Parts II,III, and IV)

Fair Use Notice!


Posted in Climate Change, desertification, fish, life, oceans, plantlife | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Aquaculture Dilemma

Posted by feww on October 14, 2007

UPDATE: Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!

Here’s the aquaculture (fish farming) dilemma: Farmed fish are safe to eat; wild fish are NOT. To produce 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of farmed fishmeal, the fish are fed about 5 kg (11 lbs.) of smaller wild fish.

[Note: It takes about 20 kg of wild fish (also known as pelagic, open-ocean, or “trash” fish) including anchovies, mackerel and sardines to produce 1 kg of high protein ranched tuna.]

Aquaculture’s intense reliance on wild fish for feed poses significant ecological risks. Aquafarms pollute the environment with tons of fish feces, antibiotic-laden fish feed, and diseased fish carcasses.

There are other collateral problems created by industrial scale aquaculture: the destruction of coastal habitats through waste disposal, the introduction of diseases and the possible escape of exotic species that can threaten indigenous breeds.

Other Links:

Cat Suicide Dance
The Poisoning of Minamata
Minamata Disaster
1 in 6 American women have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood

Still Ill
Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows
Mercury Exposure
Mercury poisoning:
1 in 6 babies are at risk of developmental problems

Posted in aquaculture, diet, fish, health, mercury poisoning, pregnancy | 2 Comments »

Pregnant Women, Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!

Posted by feww on October 5, 2007

The Daily Green writes:

[quote]

Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers Should Eat Fish

Coalition Advice Counters FDA Concerns Over Mercury

Eating 12 ounces of fish per week does more to promote than inhibit healthy brain development, despite government warnings that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid fish because of mercury contamination.
[Read more…]

Mothers who are still concerned about mercury would be wise to choose fish carefully. Many species that are lower on the aquatic food chain contain no or very little mercury (or other contaminants, like PCBs) and yet still contain high levels of Omeg-3 fatty acids. Some of those fish, according to Oceans Alive, include:

  • Abalone (U.S. farmed)
  • Anchovies
  • Arctic char (farmed)
  • Catfish (U.S. farmed)
  • Caviar (U.S. farmed)
  • Clams (farmed)
  • Crab – Dungeness, snow (Canada), stone
  • Crawfish (U.S.)
  • Halibut – Pacific (Alaska)
  • Herring – Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
  • Mackerel – Atlantic
  • Mahimahi (U.S. Atlantic)
  • Mussels (farmed)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Sablefish/black cod (Alaska)
  • Salmon – wild (Alaska), canned pink/sockeye
  • Sardines
  • Scallops – bay (farmed)
  • Shrimp – northern (Canada), Oregon pink, U.S. farmed
  • Spot prawns
  • Striped bass (farmed)
  • Sturgeon (U.S. farmed)
  • Tilapia (U.S.)

For more information on choosing the best fish to eat, visit this Oceans Alive Web site. For more information about the study, click here.” [Original Story…]
[end quote]

FEWW asks…

Assuming a few of the items on the Oceans Alive’s “safe fish list” are less deadly than the others, how would the average pregnant woman or nursing mother ensure the fish she eats is, say, the Atlantic mackerel (!) and not the king [mercury, PCB, dioxin] mackerel, or farmed striped bass, instead of the wild [PCB, mercury, dioxin] striped bass?

See also:
Sustainable Lifestyles & Healthy Food
,
UPDATE & New Links

Fish Farming: The Hazards & Environmental Impacts
TITO: Toxin In, Toxin Out

Posted in diet, fish, health, mercury poisoning, pregnancy | 4 Comments »