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Displaying items by tag: fish

This unprecedented kill reveals why we need to keep rivers resilient.

It was the kind of clear late-August day that anglers live for. Yet at the Yellowstone River near Livingston, Montana, not a single oar boat or even a fishing line broke the river’s calm surface. All was still, save for an osprey scavenging the corpses of pale, shimmering whitefish along the gravelly shoreline. A light breeze carried the sweetish smell of aquatic decay.

Earlier this month, the Yellowstone River made national headlines with the news of an unprecedented fish die-off in its usually healthy waters. Starting in mid-August, biologists counted 4,000 dead whitefish floating on the Yellowstone or washed ashore, but they estimate that the true number is in the tens of thousands. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve recently spotted rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout—both economically important species—go belly-up as well.

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Monday, 18 July 2016 16:10

Diving with potato bass

Potato bass are probably the most curious fish of all. While scuba diving on reefs on the east coast of South Africa and Mozambique you are almost guaranteed a close encounter with this massive fish, which commonly grow up to 1.5m in length – making them one of the largest of all the coral reef predators in the region.

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Researchers in Hawaii have discovered three probable new species of fish while on an expedition in the protected waters of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

In a statement released Wednesday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said divers collected two previously unknown species of fish and filmed a third.

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Sustainable management of wild fisheries, especially small-scale fisheries, is critical for achieving local food security and poverty reduction in many developing countries, including many Feed the Future countries.

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Words cannot describe the immense loss of life unfolding along a 50-mile stretch of Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

More than 30 species of fish, estimated in the hundreds of thousands, have started floating to the surface and washing up along shores. In some places, the normally idyllic waterways are being replaced with thousands of rotting fish.

“We’re seeing stingrays, horseshoe crabs, sheepshead, the mullet, the flounder — everything is being impacted by what’s going on here in the lagoon,” Michelle Spahn, a waterway tour operator, told WFTV9.

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Analysis shows highly variable pollutant concentrations in fish meat.

A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world's oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego also uncovered some good news - concentrations of these pollutants have been consistently dropping over the last 30 years. The findings, reported in the Jan. 28, 2016 issue of the journal PeerJ, were based on an analysis by Scripps researchers Lindsay Bonito, Amro Hamdoun, and Stuart Sandin of hundreds of peer-reviewed articles from 1969-2012. The pollutants studied included older 'legacy' chemicals, such as DDT and mercury, as well as newer industrial chemicals, such as flame retardants and coolants.

"Based on the best data collected from across the globe, we can say that POPs can be anywhere and in any species of marine fish," said Scripps biologist Sandin, a co-author of the study.

Although POPs were found in fish in all of the world's oceans, the researchers say that concentrations in the consumable meat of marine fish are highly variable, where one region or group of fish may find concentrations of POPs that vary by 1,000-fold. The analysis revealed that average concentrations of each class of POP were significantly higher in the 1980s than is found today, with a drop in concentration of 15-30 percent per decade.

"This means that the typical fish that you consume today can have approximately 50 percent of the concentration of most POPs when compared to the same fish eaten by your parents at your age," said Bonito, the lead author of the study.

"But there still remains a chance of getting a fillet as contaminated as what your parents ate."

The researchers also compared the results to federal safety guidelines for seafood consumption and found that the average levels of contaminants were at or below the health standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) concentrations were at the EPA threshold for occasional human consumption, while concentrations of DDT were consistently much lower than the established threshold. According to the authors, these results suggest that the global community has responded to the calls-to-action, such as in the Stockholm Convention, to limit the release of potentially harmful chemicals into the environment.

The authors caution that although pollutant concentrations in marine fish are steadily declining, they still remain quite high, and that understanding the cumulative effects of numerous exposures to pollutants in seafood is necessary to determine the specific risk to consumers.

 

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Image credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Scripps researcher Lindsay Bonito holding a yellowfin tuna.

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UNSW Australia researchers have found that carbon dioxide concentrations in seawater could reach levels high enough to make fish "intoxicated" and disoriented many decades earlier than previously thought, with serious implications for the world's fisheries.

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Despite using conventional fishery management tools such as changes in gear used, use of short-term closures, and the reduction in fishing effort and catch of non-targeted species, the abundance of fish has continued to decline globally.

One approach to building sustainable fisheries is the creation of “no-take” marine reserves which removes fishing pressure completely from key areas, such as spawning, nursery, feeding, or sheltering habitats. Under these management conditions, targeted fish stocks and the larger communities of which they are a part of are given the opportunity to rebound.

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Defects in fish hearts could be clues that the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and others like it might have lasting impacts on marine life.

Watch Video provided by Newsy

 

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Image credit: Getty Images/John Moore. Screenshot of featured video.

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Waters in the north-west Atlantic have warmed 99% faster than the rest of the world’s oceans in the past decade due to changes in the Gulf Stream and Pacific.

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