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20% of all fish caught killed & discarded ›› new reply Reply
Jason Voorheees @ March 23, 2014 1:54 PM
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Scope of Global Fisheries Bycatch Waste Detailed in New Report

Nine fisheries to blame for half of all drowned whales and wasted fish

Mar 22, 2014

What the United States wastes annually is nearly equivalent to what the rest of the world catches in the same time period. A team of ecologists, marine biologists and other scientists have published a global account of bycatch from fisheries, illuminating the scope of the waste which kills sea turtles, marine mammals and other unintended victims as a consequence of the massive catch.

The researchers compiled data from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies published between 1990 and 2008 to obtain a global perspective on what kind of animals are being caught as bycatch.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers, led by Rebecca Lewison, an ecology professor at San Diego State University, revealed global bycatch hotspots and gaps in available data, including the lack of information on small-scale fisheries and ocean regions that are heavily fished by commercial fleets.

The researchers found that marine mammal bycatch is highest in the eastern Pacific and the Mediterranean; sea turtle bycatch is greatest in the southwest Atlantic, eastern Pacific and Mediterranean; and seabird bycatch is highest in the southwest Atlantic and Southern Indian oceans.

Lewison said the study "highlights the importance of looking at the bycatch issue across different species, fishing gears and countries. When you do that, it makes it clear that to address bycatch, fishing nations need to work together to report and mitigate bycatch. No single country can fix this."Oceana projected that two billion pounds, or between 17-22 percent of the total fish captured each year is thrown away, which is known as "bycatch."

Nine fisheries responsible for wasting the most fish were included in Oceana's report yesterday. The organization discovered that the reason so many fish get dumped every year is because the commercial gear is designed to catch as many fish possible, and the fish not suitable for restaurants or seafood markets are discarded.

The nine largest, dirtiest and most wasteful fisheries are in the United States:

1. Southeast Snapper-Grouper Longline Fishery (66 percent discarded): More than 400,000 sharks were captured and discarded in one year.

2. California Set Gillnet Fishery (65 percent of all animals discarded): More than 30,000 sharks and rays as well as valuable fish were discarded as waste over three years.

3. Southeast Shrimp Trawl Fishery (64 percent discarded): For every pound of shrimp landed, one pound of billfish is discarded; thousands of sea turtles are killed annually.

4. California Drift Gillnet Fishery (63 percent of all animals discarded): Almost 550 marine mammals were entangled or killed over five years.

5. Gulf of Alaska Flatfish Trawl Fishery (35 percent discarded): More than 34 million pounds of fish were thrown overboard in one year, including 2 million pounds of halibut and 5 million pounds of cod.

6. Northeast Bottom Trawl (35 percent discarded): More than 50 million pounds of fish are thrown overboard every year.

7. Mid-Atlantic Bottom Trawl Fishery (33 percent discarded): Almost 200 marine mammals and 350 sea turtles were captured or killed in one year.

8. Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Longline Fishery (23 percent discarded): More than 75 percent of the wasted fish in this fishery are valuable tuna, swordfish and other billfish targeted by the fishery.

9. New England and Mid-Atlantic Gillnet Fishery (16 percent discarded): More than 2,000 dolphins, porpoises and seals were captured in one year.

Researchers also discovered that even when fisherman accidentally drag in species that they're not permitted to catch, they're most likely already dead. Trawling vessels in Alaska were estimated to have thrown back seven million pounds of dead fish in a year, according to the report.


(CNN) -- A global study concluded that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing.

The study, which took 10 years to complete and was published in the international journal Nature this week, paints a grim picture of the Earth's current populations of such species as sharks, swordfish, tuna and marlin.

The authors used data going back 47 years from nine oceanic and four continental shelf systems, ranging from the tropics to the Antarctic. Whether off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, or in the Gulf of Thailand, the findings were dire, according to the authors.

"I think the point is there is nowhere left in the ocean not overfished," said Ransom Myers, a fisheries biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and lead author of the study.

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TOOTHPAC SHAKUR @ March 23, 2014 2:40 PM
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Jason Voorheees @ March 23, 2014 4:24 PM
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U.N. Report: Damage To Fisheries Will Be Irreversible

By Seth Borenstein AP Science Writer

To anyone on land, climate change can seem subtle. The sea, however, is changing alarmingly. The latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the second of three reports on the impacts of global warming—offers the scary forecast that the hotter the planet, the higher the risk of ”abrupt and irreversible changes” to ecosystems.

We’ve already tipped past some of those ”tipping points” in the oceans, though. By the middle of the century, global warming will have thoroughly reshuffled marine ecosystems.

The ocean, which covers 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface, is at the epicenter of many of the problems brought on by climate change.

“Even before this report came out, we knew we were draining the ocean of life,” said Karen Sack, senior director for international oceans at The Pew Charitable Trusts, referring to the new work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“The IPCC report raises further alarm about how climate change is speeding up the degradation of increasingly fragile marine ecosystems. World leaders must act now to implement solutions we know exist, to problems that we are certain can be reversed, by ending overfishing and establishing very large, fully protected marine reserves.”

The release of the panel’s Fifth Assessment Report comes as country delegates convene in New York City for UN meetings that include talks on sustainable development goals and the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, or the high seas.

“Science is the foundation of smart environmental policy, and science continues to sound the alarm that the world’s changing climate is killing coral reefs, drastically redistributing fisheries, and creating more and more food insecurity,” Ms Sack said.

Findings from the report suggest that globally, climate change is projected to cause a large-scale redistribution of global fish catch potential, with an average 30-70 per cent increase in yield at high latitudes and up to 89 per cent in some regions, after 2°C warming from pre-industrial periods following redistribution between areas, with average catch potential remaining unchanged, will occur at mid latitudes.

A 40-60 per cent drop will occur in the tropics and in Antarctica by the 2050's relative to the 2000's. Model projections also suggest a potential loss of up to 13 per cent to annual total fishery value in the US, or globally over $100 billion annually by 2100.

Seas of acid

The other big problem is the oceans’ acidity. As the oceans absorb more of the growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the CO2 will turn the water more acidic almost everywhere on the globe. That makes it hard for corals to grow, as well as for crustaceans—e.g. crabs, shrimp, lobsters—and mollusks to form shells, which are crucial for defending themselves from predators and disease. And since intricate marine food webs center around coral reefs, commercial fishing stocks will take a hit too as reefs decay.

Another thing the IPCC agrees on is that climate change is stripping the oceans of oxygen. Warmer water simply holds less of it, making it harder for many sea creatures to survive.

Not all creatures, though. Take, for example, the oxygen-stripped waters (paywall) of the East China and Yellow seas. As other animals have fled or died, Nomura jellyfish—gelatinous peach-colored behemoths the size of a large refrigerator—have thrived.

Because it’s hard for anything else to compete, the jellyfish never leave—as has happened off the coast of Namibia and in the Black Sea. In fact, these “dead zones” are a prime example of the “tipping points” the IPCC flagged—changes to the ocean that can’t be reversed.

Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative said the report highlights the dramatic difference of impacts between a world where we act now to cut emissions, which now come mostly from using fossil fuels; and a world where we fail to act quickly and at scale.

“This report tells us that we have two clear choices: cut emissions now and invest in adaption - and have a world that has challenging and just barely manageable risks; or do nothing and face a world of devastating and unmanageable risks and impacts.”


Palau's plans to ban commercial fishing could set precedent for tuna industry, Wednesday 26 March 2014

The Pacific island-nation of Palau is close to kicking all commercial fishing vessels out of its tropical waters. The move will single-handedly section off more than 230,000 sq miles of ocean, an area slightly smaller than France, to create one of the world's largest marine reserves. The sanctuary, which Palauan President Thomas Remengesau Jr announced at the United Nations last month, would also sit inside the world's last healthy stand of tuna.

Giving fishing vessels the boot is bold for any nation, but perhaps more so for Palau, a smattering of 300 islands east of the Philippines. Tuna, America's favorite finned fish, is a regional boon worth an estimated $5.5bn. Commercial fishing, largely by boats from Japan and Taiwan, represents $5m annually – or 3.3% of GDP – to Palau. But still, the island state says it will allow existing fishing licenses to expire.

"Our concern is not so much a practical one as it is a concern with the precedent of closing areas with no scientific basis for it," says Brian Hallman, executive director of the American Tunaboat Association.

"The migratory range of tunas is vast, covering the waters of many countries and the high seas. So the only way to conserve stocks is by international treaty arrangements and this is already being done."

Palau's decision to act alone could be seen as a warning to the fishing industry to take the sustainability concerns of smaller, fish-rich nations more seriously and to work with these countries on more nimble and responsive solutions.

Palau currently works with seven of its island neighbors to co-operatively manage a large swath of ocean. Jointly, these eight nations set fishing quotas and sustainability standards to manage nearly a third of the world's tuna stock. Balancing both conservation and business, the alliance became the first group of countries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council for managing its tuna grounds sustainably.

But this arrangement hinges on allowing more-sustainable fishing inside member waters. If Palau bans commercial fishing, it's unclear how this will impact the broader regional effort.

"There's nothing in these agreements that require we allow fishing in our waters," Remengesau says in a telephone interview. "It's all about the regional area. Our conservation efforts would ensure that the stocks are healthy and that they gain in economic value as they move out of our territorial waters into other waters."

When it comes down to it though, banning commercial boats simply appears to be in Palau's interests.

Even though the bulk of commercial fishing in the region focuses on tuna, sharks are frequently hauled in as bycatch. Yanking sharks out of the sea directly hits Palau's biggest moneymaker: the $85m dive tourism industry.

"We feel that a live tuna or shark is worth a thousand times more than a dead fish," Remengesau says.

A 2010 Australian study backs him up. The researchers calculated that shark divers bring Palau $18m per year, with each swimming shark worth $1.9m in diving and tourism. Through this lens, sharks contribute 8% of Palau's GDP.

Matt Rand, director of the global oceans legacy at Pew Charitable Trust, says taking full stock of the value of living marine resources makes both economic and conservation sense.

"I think it's visionary," he says. "[Remengesau] looked at the global picture for the oceans and decided to preserve the marine ecosystem, not only for the seas, but for his economy and for his people. I think there's tremendous conservation value in what Palau is trying to do."

Palau's sanctuary would be large and legally protected – two key attributes for success – but its viability will likely hinge on the nation's ability to stop pirate fishing, which is no easy feat.

Palau could stand to lose a lot more than the $5m in direct fishing revenue. The nation is slated to receive $215m from the US in economic assistance and grants through 2024. But Michael Tosatto, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says that if Palau bans American boats it may risk losing some of those funds.

"I wouldn't say everything is about tuna," he says, "but it's a large part. If it weren't for the tuna treaty, there likely wouldn't be a multilateral assistance agreement. I'm not with the State Department, so I can't say for sure, but if they fully extract themselves, they could lose access."

"We're very committed to it," Remengesau says. "But also, I don't believe the US would retaliate against a small island nation that is its best ally in the United Nations simply because they want to force something down our throats as far as our conservation efforts."

TOOTHPAC SHAKUR @ March 27, 2014 11:35 PM
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Jason Voorheees @ March 28, 2014 12:12 AM
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maybe don't respond to the thread if you have absolutely nothing to say.
Jason Voorheees @ April 5, 2014 10:50 PM
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Bashar al-Asad @ April 5, 2014 10:59 PM
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humans are destroying everything. there isnt going to be much left for the next few generations down the line
blackeyes @ April 6, 2014 12:10 AM
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i blame kyle buck
the j is 4 jongler @ April 19, 2014 12:05 PM
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i think its time to just start thinning out the human herd. starting in america.
the j is 4 jongler @ April 19, 2014 12:06 PM
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we are the laziest, most useless pieces of shit.

if you were to "eliminate" 30,000-50.000 Americans who do jack shit and can't even contribute what is essential to life, that's 30-50k worth of resources that can be given to people who work hard and get nowhere. The real starving, struggling and poor.
Cumby @ July 27, 2014 9:30 PM
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Originally posted by: blackeyes

i blame kyle buck

ass nipples @ January 25, 2015 1:29 PM
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fuck kyle buck
crunkmoose @ February 9, 2015 1:40 PM
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Originally posted by: the j is 4 jongler

we are the laziest, most useless pieces of shit.

if you were to "eliminate" 30,000-50.000 Americans who do jack shit and can't even contribute what is essential to life, that's 30-50k worth of resources that can be given to people who work hard and get nowhere. The real starving, struggling and poor.

Personally, I strongly believe that anyone who advocates killing off other human beings to lower the population should always be willing to be one of the first to go.
WREN @ April 22, 2015 9:10 AM
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I clearly don't agree with Masi's stance on just offing people for the sake of lowering the population but how do you feel about the Voluntary Human Extinction theory? Honest question.
ScrewFlanders @ May 4, 2015 8:17 AM
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Chris_High @ May 4, 2015 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by: the j is 4 jongler

if you were to "eliminate" 30,000-50.000 Americans who do jack shit and can't even contribute what is essential to life

You mean people like yourself?
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