In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 2

Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) may be able to improve groundfish stock assessments by providing real-time, accurate population estimates. Here, a map shows a single OAWRS transmission (red circle) and the line transects of a NMFS trawl survey (Credit:Jagannathan et al., “OAWRS of marine ecosystems,” Marine Ecology Progress Series)

  • This Fish on Fridays blog by Michael Conathan at the Center for American Progress is a few weeks old, but it’s still relevant. Conathan writes about the disconnect between two letters about the groundfish fishery released in November – one from fishermen asking for less political interference so that they can have business stability, and one from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick seeking disaster assistance funding for Massachusetts fishermen. (Read’s blogs on these letters here and here.)
  • Senator John Kerry requested that $1 million of NOAA funds be designated to develop Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) technology for assessing groundfish populations. OAWRS involves sending out relatively low frequency sound waves horizontally—either from equipment based on research vessels or on fixed underwater stations—and then using the echoes that come back from fish to form a visual acoustic image. This would allow real-time monitoring of fish population data, something current fisheries science is sorely lacking.
  • A Yale Environment 360 report discusses oyster die-offs in the Pacific Northwest that have been caused by ocean acidification, a warning of what may happen if global warming emissions continue to rise.
  • The New York Times ran an article this week on the Nature Conservancy’s efforts to promote sustainable fishing in the Pacific through permit banks and  cooperating with fishermen on data collection and sharing. Later in the week, the author of the article responded to reader comments about the potential downsides of catch share programs like the one put in place by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and discussed in the original article.


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