One problem is that fisheries often target what scientists call BOFFFFs: big, old, fat, fecund, female fish. Their large bodies are prized by fishers, but BOFFFFs are a vital source of new baby fish. Take these away and the size spectrum quickly veers out of kilter. One way to manage this is to encourage the fishing industry to target medium-size fish, allowing mature ones to replenish depleted populations.
Finding Bright Spots in the Global Coral Reef Catastrophe The first-ever report on the world’s coral reefs presents a grim picture, as losses mount due to global warming. But there are signs of hope — some regions are having coral… Read More ›
Some scientists believe there may be too many whales for the population to sustain itself. Others say this explanation of “overcapacity” and “natural causes” overlooks the gantlet of hazards that grays now face — including ecosystem alteration, ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, plastics pollution, disease, ocean acidification and loss of kelp forests.
Studies show that a shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulating system could bring extreme cold to Europe and North America, raise sea levels on the U.S. East Coast and disrupt monsoons that provide water to much of the world.
(Reuters) – U.S. commercial fishing practices must change to prevent the extinction of North Atlantic right whales, the administration of President Joe Biden said on Thursday, as it prepares a list of new regulations to prevent whale entanglements in lobster… Read More ›
For a moment last spring, things got very quiet in the oceans. The drop in human activity that came with the pandemic resulted in drastic and voluntary sound reductions that ran the underwater gamut: from a drop in shipping noise,… Read More ›
Almost two and a half million pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural chemicals, lawn fertilizers, and leaky septic tanks flow into the lagoon each year. As the water quality has deteriorated, some manatees have been wintering in waters warmed by discharges from power plants along Florida’s Atlantic coast.
The researchers did a global analysis of mounting studies of plastic pollution in the ocean and found data on plastic ingestion for 555 species of marine and estuarine fish. Their results showed that 386 fish species — two-thirds of all species — had ingested plastic. And of those, 210 were species that are commercially fished.
Not surprisingly, places with an abundance of plastic in surface waters, such as East Asia, led to a higher likelihood of plastic ingestion by fish.
Vincent Saba, a fisheries researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said he’s worked on related studies showing that weakening of the Gulf Stream system leads to regional warming of the waters along the continental shelf of Northeastern North America, prime grounds for commercial and recreational fishing.
Microplastics have been found in rain, Arctic ice cores, inside the fish we eat, as well as in fruit and vegetables. New research suggests 136,000 tons of microplastics are ejected from the ocean each year, ending up in the air we breathe. They are in human placentas, our wastewater, and our drinking water.