Warmer ocean will mean smaller fish, says study

Fish species could shrink in size by as much as 30 percent thanks to climate change, says a study in the journal Global Change Biology. “Fish, as cold-blooded animals, cannot regulate their own body temperatures. When ocean waters become warmer, a fish’s metabolism accelerates, and it needs more oxygen to sustain its body functions,” says Nexus Media.

Using a plastic bag in Kenya could land you in prison

Kenya has passed the strictest plastic bag ban in the world, punishing anyone who sells or uses plastic bags with four years in prison or a $40,000 fine. Proponents of the law say that marine animals often end up strangled by or ingesting plastic. “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” said Habib El-Habr, an expert on ocean trash working with Kenya’s UN environment program.

‘Dead zone’ is largest ever recorded, covers one-seventh of Gulf of Mexico

Marine scientists estimate the low-oxygen "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico covers a record 8,776 square miles, or one-seventh of the basin. "This large dead zone size shows that nutrient pollution, primarily from agriculture and developed land runoff in the Mississippi River watershed, is continuing to affect the nation’s coastal resources and habitats in the Gulf," said NOAA.

Scientists warn carbon ‘sponges’ might not be slowing warming

Even as human carbon emissions have stabilized in the past few years, researchers are seeing an increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists are worried that the Earth’s carbon “sponges,” including its forests and oceans, aren’t capturing the gas as efficiently as they once did.

West Coast waters threatened by acidic hot spots

The waters off the U.S. Pacific Coast are suffering from ocean acidification “hot spots,” says a new study of 600 miles of coastline. The study recorded some of the lowest pH levels ever found in surface water.

Fraudulent fishing tycoon exposes weakness in New England ‘catch shares’

After decades of gaming and monopolizing the system governing commercial fishing rights in New England, a crime lord known as The Codfather has been kicked from his throne in New Bedford, Massachusetts, writes Ben Goldfarb in FERN’s latest story, co-produced with Mother Jones. Rafael will plead guilty for fraud before a federal judge in Boston on Thursday, facing 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Tiny pieces of plastic found in seafood at the supermarket

The world started paying attention to the problem of plastic trash in the ocean when seabirds turned up with plastic rings from six-packs of beer twisted about their necks. Now researchers say tiny bits of degraded plastic are showing up in fish and shellfish at the grocery store, says CBC News.

Study: Fishermen would make more money if they fished less

A new study by researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the University of Washington demonstrates that adopting “rights-based fishery management” (RBFM) would not only help fish populations recover, but would mean more money for fishermen, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Small fishermen track their fish with a new wave of tech

“A fish will often go through five to 15 sets of hands in the supply chain, from the boat to the retailer or restaurant,” reports Ensia. Many customers are willing to pay a premium to know the origins of their fish, especially if they've heard how rampant fraud is in the seafood business.

Finding Nemo’s Garden

A team of engineers is testing the practicality of growing food crops in small, inflatable greenhouses in the ocean.

“Are Inspections Enough?”

The United States imported $19 billion worth of seafood last year, more than nine times the value of the domestic catch that is consumed at home, writes Deborah Zabarenko in a story at Medium. Only 1-2 percent is inspected by FDA and the rejection rate was 0.33 percent in 2012. According to the seafood industry and government officials, the inspection net falls much wider, covering as much as 40 percent of imports.

California’s big gambit to rebuild its fisheries

Over the past 15 years, California 'has upended nearly every aspect of its fisheries management" to create 124 marine protected areas covering 850 square miles, more than 16 percent of its ocean holdings, where fishing is banned or severely curtailed, writes avid angler and author Paul Greenberg in California Sunday magazine.