Native Alaskan fishers are losing out to industrial fleet in the Bering Sea
In the Bering Sea, Native Alaskans are losing the fight for halibut, up against factory ships that throw away more of the valuable fish than the the long-line fishers are allowed to catch, Miranda Weiss reports in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with National Geographic. No paywall
Covid-19 might close the largest salmon fishery on Earth
Leaders in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay — source of nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon and a $1.5 billion industry — this week asked Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy to shut down the fishery to protect public health. (No paywall)
Oceans could provide far more food in the future, reports say
Oceans could provide far more protein for the world’s food supply than they do now, especially from aquaculture, but aggressive action is needed to better manage fisheries and mitigate the impact of climate change, according to two reports released Thursday.
Key changes needed to ensure sustainable fisheries amid climate change, report says
Several key strategies must be implemented if there is any hope for sustainable fisheries in our rapidly warming oceans, says a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund. The report’s release coincides with COP25, a global climate conference being held this week in Madrid.
With EPA permit looming, open sea acquaculture sparks fight
Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish each year, and that number is growing. But how to meet our demand for fish is a controversial question, one that is entering a new chapter as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to approve the nation’s only aquaculture pen in federal waters.
Congress set to pass bill to keep shark fins out of soup
A bill that would prohibit the shark fin trade nationwide is poised to pass in Congress with deep bipartisan support. Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, can bring in $100 or more for a bowl.
Claim: Aquaculture company offered to pay tribe to stop complaining about net pens
Cooke Aquaculture — the company responsible for the estimated 105,000 farmed salmon that spilled out of a ripped net and into Puget Sound this summer — offered to pay the Lummi Nation an extra $12 per fish if the tribe would not push for the prohibition of net-pen aquaculture.
Women in developing countries at high-risk for mercury in diet
Around the world, low-income women are exposed to high amounts of mercury, thanks to mining and marine-based diets, says a report from IPEN, a nonprofit focused on global health and toxic chemicals, and Biodiversity Research Institute, an ecology research organization. Of the 1,0444 women …
Coca-Cola worries environmentalists with surge in plastic bottle output
Coca-Cola upped its production of plastic drink bottles by more than a billion between 2015 and 2016, bringing the total number of bottles manufactured during that time to 110 billion, according to an analysis by Greenpeace. Coca-Cola, which is responsible for more plastic bottles than any other company, said in July that it intended to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50 percent by 2020, reports The Guardian.
Most sea salt contains plastic particles
Sea salt from around the world is often contaminated with microplastics, according to several studies that examined sea salt in the UK, France, Spain, China and the U.S. “Researchers believe the majority of the contamination comes from microfibres and single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of plastic waste,” says The Guardian, adding that the United Nations estimates that one garbage truck’s worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute.
Largest marine park in the world designated off Chile
Chile has designated the world’s largest marine park — at 740,000 square kilometers, or about the size of the entire nation of Chile. Known as Rapa Nui, the park will safeguard at least 142 endemic marine species, including 27 facing extinction.
Groups pledge to do more to save Pacific bluefin tuna
As Pacific bluefin tuna stocks dwindle to 2.6 percent of their historic population, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission have promised to increase the fish’s population sevenfold.
NOAA reviews limits on whale catch for Alaska natives
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reviewing catch limits for 11 Alaskan native communities permitted to catch bowhead whales for subsistence hunting. The new quota would cover a six-year period starting in 2018.
Can kelp be the biofuel of the future?
Researchers at the University of Southern California are in the early stages of an experiment to farm seaweed for biofuel in the Pacific Ocean. Kelp can grow two to three feet a day without fertilizer, pesticides, fresh water, or arable land — making it an ideal product for the biofuel industry.
Study details aquaculture’s vast potential to feed the world
If the world utilized every appropriate ocean habitat for aquaculture, it could outproduce the global demand for seafood by 100 times, says a study by scientists at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Groups debate fishing rules for Hawaiian national monument
The Honolulu-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is in the midst of a debate about changing the rules governing non-commercial fishing in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument since the monument’s size was quadrupled by the Obama administration.
Some tuna has 36 times the amount of pollutants because of where its caught, says study
Where your yellowfin tuna was caught can dramatically change the level of pollutants in its flesh, say researchers at the University of San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, after testing 117 yellowfin tuna from 12 locations in a first-of-its-kind global study.
World’s top tuna company commits to lower bycatch, better labor practices
Responding to pressure from the environmental group Greenpeace, the world’s largest tuna supplier, Thai Union, has announced a series of initiatives designed to improve its fishing practices and protect workers from abuses. Thai Union owns the popular brands Chicken of the Sea and Sealect.
UNESCO gives Great Barrier Reef a pass
The United Nations’ UNESCO committee has voted to not add the Great Barrier Reef to its “in danger” list, despite the biggest die-off of coral ever at the World Heritage Site. "We're taking every action possible to ensure this great wonder of the world stays viable and healthy for future generations to come,” Australia's Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.