SIU researchers seek to use invasive copi as baby food for farm-raised yellow perch

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University.

Caring for a human baby is hard. Two researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will tell you raising “infant” fish may be even more challenging.

Karolina Kwasek and Michal Wojno are trying to find better ways to hatch and successfully raise yellow perch to the juvenile stage in aquaculture. A married couple with a baby of their own, they use research methods that combine low-tech hatchery equipment, easily copied by professional fish farmers, with creating a new feed that uses the invasive species copi as a protein source.

The research will last through 2023. Success would mean greatly increasing yellow perch’s survival rates at indoor hatcheries, leading to business expansion for more aquacultural ventures and better prices for consumers.

Alaska’s herring row

Read the full story from the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

The tiny fish is central to Tlingit culture and to sustainable ecosystems. Overfishing threatens both.

Connecticut’s shellfish population gets a boost with state’s first restoration guide

Read the full story from Pew.

The Connecticut Shellfish Restoration Guide provides science-based, well-tested techniques to help oyster farmers, state and local officials, academic institutions, and others involved in restoration efforts increase shellfish and fish populations, improve water quality, strengthen coastal habitats, and stabilize shorelines.

One component of the guide is the CT Shellfish Restoration Map Viewer, an online, interactive mapping tool released in 2021. Previously, without a central, comprehensive habitat map to work from, oyster restoration practitioners had insufficient information from which to choose sites effectively, and state and local agencies had a hard time properly evaluating shellfish restoration projects. That led to approval and permit delays, among other problems. The viewer helps users identify the best locations for siting shellfish restoration projects.

Almost 90% of marine species at risk under high emissions scenarios: ‘Mitigation needs to occur now’

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Fresh research shows that high emissions scenarios place the vast majority of ocean life at ‘high’ or ‘critical’ risk, with implications for the economic wellbeing of costal economies and future food security.

Nearly all marine species face extinction if greenhouse emissions don’t drop: study

Read the full story at The Hill.

Maintaining the status quo for greenhouse gas emissions could risk the extinction of up to 90 percent of marine species, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

Researchers, led by ecologist Daniel Boyce of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, looked at some 25,000 species, including animals, plants, protozoans and bacteria. Under a high-emission scenario, they determined that nearly 90 percent of those species will be at high-to-critical risk across 85 percent of their distribution. This scenario involves an increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius in global ocean temperatures by the end of the century. 

Federal Fisheries Management: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Climate Resilience

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What GAO Found

Fisheries managers comprised of eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Division (HMS Division) have generally used climate information to a limited extent in fisheries management activities. For example, GAO identified 12 out of 46 fishery management plans and amendments that considered climate-related information. However, many fisheries managers are leading initiatives that could advance the use of climate information in management, such as addressing distributional shifts in species, pictured below. Initiatives include the creation of a special task force to identify actions and tools to better incorporate climate information in fisheries management. Six of nine fisheries managers told GAO that they were not aware of climate-related fisheries management activities taking place in other regions. According to a few stakeholders, fisheries managers could benefit from learning about such actions, but NMFS does not regularly collect or share this information. According to GAO’s Disaster Resilience Framework, federal efforts can help decision makers better identify and select actions to enhance climate resilience. An effort by NMFS to regularly collect and publicly share information on climate-related activities taken by fisheries managers could help decision makers identify and prioritize resilience measures.

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Map from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Distribution Mapping and Analysis Portal Showing Changes in Black Sea Bass Distribution from 1974 to 2019

NMFS and fisheries managers face challenges to enhancing the climate resilience of federal fisheries, including limited data and modeling information, and resource constraints. However, opportunities exist to help address these challenges based on GAO’s review of relevant literature and a 2018 NMFS guidance document on fisheries management and climate change. For example, one potential opportunity to help address limited fisheries data involves NMFS partnering with the fishing industry to collect data through equipment on commercial vessels. Most NMFS regions (three of five) have taken some related actions and shared the 2018 guidance document with the Councils. However, GAO found that one Council was not familiar with the document and that NMFS is not actively working with Councils on implementing opportunities that it identifies. According to the principles outlined in the Disaster Resilience Framework, NMFS could help address climate-related challenges facing the Councils by collaborating with them to identify, prioritize, and plan to implement opportunities to enhance the climate resilience of federal fisheries.

Why GAO Did This Study

Commercial and recreational marine fisheries managed by NMFS and regional fisheries managers are critical to the nation’s economy. These fisheries contributed nearly $118 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and 1.8 million jobs in 2019. The increasing effects of climate change can alter the number and location of fisheries and have negative economic consequences on fishing-reliant industries and coastal communities.

House Report 116-455 includes a provision for GAO to examine federal efforts to prepare and adapt federal or jointly managed fisheries for the impacts of climate change. This GAO report examines, among other things, (1) the extent to which fisheries managers have used climate information and (2) challenges to enhancing the climate resilience of federal fisheries and opportunities to address challenges. GAO reviewed laws, regulations, NMFS documents, and relevant literature. GAO interviewed representatives from all five NMFS regions; NMFS’ HMS Division; all eight Councils; and all three interstate commissions, as well as 15 relevant stakeholders, selected based on geographic diversity and other factors.Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

GAO is recommending that NMFS (1) regularly collect and share information on fishery management activities for enhancing climate resilience and (2) work with federal fisheries managers to identify and prioritize climate resilience opportunities and develop a plan to implement them. The agency agreed with GAO’s recommendations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency AffectedRecommendationStatus
National Marine Fisheries ServiceThe Assistant Administrator for NMFS should regularly collect and publicly disseminate information on actions taken by the Regional Fishery Management Councils and NMFS’ Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Division to enhance the climate resilience of federal fisheries, such as fishery management plans that use climate information. (Recommendation 1)When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Marine Fisheries ServiceThe Assistant Administrator for NMFS should direct the agency’s regional offices and fisheries science centers to work with the Regional Fishery Management Councils and NMFS’ Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Division in their respective regions to identify and prioritize opportunities to enhance the climate resilience of federal fisheries, including by reviewing the opportunities described in this report and in NMFS’ 2018 guidance document, Accounting for Shifting Distributions and Changing Productivity in the Fishery Management Process, and develop a plan to implement them. (Recommendation 2)When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

60+ years of monitoring large river fishes in Illinois

Read the full story in Outdoor Illinois.

Survey and Assessment of Large-River fishes in Illinois (commonly referred to as LTEF for Long Term Electrofishing) has been tracking changes in the Illinois River fish community, water quality and habitat since 1957. Over the years, funding and program leadership has periodically changed, but monitoring has always been conducted by Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) biologists out of Havana, Illinois, currently at the Illinois River Biological Station (IRBS). Since 1989, funding for the LTEF program is provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration program.

To improve tuna sustainability in eastern Pacific, fishery managers must build on progress

Read the full story from Pew.

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) manages fisheries worth billions of dollars each year and at times has struggled to steward these resources effectively. For years, the Commission had ample opportunity—and scientific reasons—to adopt effective measures on vessel monitoring, transparency, and other management issues but instead defaulted to a status quo that imperiled the health of fish populations. Finally, in 2021, IATTC adopted one such improvement: a multiyear plan for managing tropical tuna.

Now, at its Aug. 1-5 meeting in Phoenix, IATTC should build on that success by demonstrating a commitment to durable, science-based fisheries management. Specifically, the Commission should strengthen its oversight of transshipment—the transfer of catch from fishing vessels to carrier ships that take the fish to port—and its monitoring of fisheries activities, and it should adopt a new management measure for North Pacific albacore tuna.

Michigan anglers fear fishing deal with tribes could hurt their interests

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Recreational and charter fishing groups want a voice in negotiations over Great Lakes fishing rights, a new sign of tension in negotiations between state regulators and tribes over waters that are dramatically changing.

‘White gold’: why shrimp aquaculture is a solution that caused a huge problem

Read the full story at The Guardian.

In the 1980s, farmers in Bangladesh went from paddies to ponds, letting salt water flood their land. Now millions are left counting the cost