In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, November 24

Menhaden are used to make products such as fertilizer, cosmetics, and fish meal. Photo credit: Paul Dabill (via The Pew Charitable Trusts).

  • A special November issue of Science Magazine focused all on our oceans and climate change. Leading up to the Paris Climate Talks, the issue emphasized the need to address how climate change is impacting the ocean and its resources because, as the opening story says, “Even if international negotiations like those kicking off soon I Paris succeed, we will be coping with the impacts of ocean climate change for centuries.” The issue discusses deeps sea ecosystems, shorelines, fish stocks, and more.
  • NOAA Fisheries released a draft Action Plan for Fish Discard and Release Mortality Science. The plan identifies ten actions that will help the agency to “better inform our science, reduce uncertainty, and ultimately explore opportunities for increased fishing opportunities.” The plan will identify species that need the most attention, help to develop improved mortality rate estimates, support research, and help incorporate mortality estimates into management processes. The public comment period for the draft plan is open until December 18, 2015.
  • In U.S. commercial fisheries, about 1 in 5 fish, or 2 billion pounds, are caught as bycatch each year. In response, the company SmartCatch developed the Digital Catch Monitoring System. Digicatch is essentially a video camera that allows fishermen to see inside their nets before hauling them in. SmartCatch hopes this will help to reduce the rates of bycatch and lead to more sustainable and efficient fisheries. SmartCatch is also currently developing a SmartNet that will allow fishermen to release bycatch from their nets while still underwater.
  • The president and part owner of National Fish & Seafood Inc, a major Gloucester-based seafood processing company was indicted on three counts of filing false tax returns and one count of conspiracy. Jack Ventola did not pay taxes on over $2 million in income between 2006 and 2006.
  • A fisheries scientist at South Dakota State University is researching how to feed soy-based food pellets to farm-raised fish rather than those made from wild-caught fish, which typically contain anchovy, menhaden, and herring. His goal is to make a more sustainable and less expensive food source. Wild-caught feed can cost up to $2,000 per ton, but soybean meal is about $425 per ton. Some environmentalists are concerned about potential side effects of feeding fish an uncommon food source.

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