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.
“We’re getting vision of this landscape scale collapse for the first time … arguably it’s a little bit worse than we expected because of the extent of the barreness and the distribution so far out to sea,” Frankham told Breakfast.
In 2017, 34.2% of the fish stocks of the world’s marine fisheries were classified as overfished, a “continuous increasing trend” since 1974 when it stood at just 10%.
The report says foreign fishing vessels are looking to Australia after stocks elsewhere have been depleted by overfishing. “Australian waters are now in their sights,” the report author Chris Smyth said.
“Fishing regulations notionally prohibit the entry of foreign fishing vessels, but this has not stopped the approval of foreign super trawlers to fish in Australian waters.”
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Large Pacific bluefin tuna not seen in California waters for decades have reappeared, to the delight of fishing enthusiasts and scientists, as global conservation efforts have proven effective for one of the ocean’s priciest and… Read More ›
We now have a 2017 event, which is not quite as bad as 2016, but certainly worse than the first two events that we studied [in 1998 and 2002]. That is significant because it postpones any hope of recovery. The current bleaching occupies a different geographical footprint from last year, which is bad news because it means between last year and this year a much greater extent of the Great Barrier Reef has now been damaged. In 2017, the hot water was in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, the central section; last year it was in the north.
The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Canada and is a key marine environment and important to commercial fishing. Blue mussels are used in seafood dishes and worth millions to the economy of some New England states, but are also important in moving bacteria and toxins out of the water.
Sardine stocks are at historic lows and might get worse, according to The Maritime Exclusive, “The sardine fishery closure is the second in as many years; it was closed mid-season last year due to low stocks, but it has since fallen further, and is expected to be down by 30 percent over last year by summer.”
One of the most spectacular fisheries collapses in U.S. history occurred off the West Coast in the 1950s, when hundreds of boats severely overfished a Pacific sardine population already in decline from a natural down-cycle. The resulting crash decimated the… Read More ›