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Moving Toward Electronic Monitoring in U.S. Fisheries – Step by Step

Moving Toward Electronic Monitoring in U.S. Fisheries – Step by Step

Fishers around the world are increasingly using electronic monitoring (EM) technologies such as cameras, gear sensors, and electronic reporting (ER) to improve the timeliness, quality, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility of fisheries data collection in commercial fishing operations, and the U.S. is working to keep pace.   A strong coalition of industry, managers and other stakeholders called the Net Gains Alliance recently funded four projects to find solutions to overcome specific barriers to greater EM/ER adoption.

Why This Matters:  Its time to bring fisheries management into the 21st century using the best available technology. 

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Fish Kills in Alaska and Indiana Make Headlines

Fish Kills in Alaska and Indiana Make Headlines

As the summer fishing season comes to a close, two recent stories of fish kills made headlines in Alaska and Michigan.  CNN reports that In Alaska, the historic heatwave there is, according to scientists, resulting in the death of at least a thousand salmon because they had to swim through water that was too warm — the die-offs include several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon — and are an added threat to populations of these commercially valuable fish. 

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Lox From A Lab on the Horizon

Lox From A Lab on the Horizon

A company called Wild Type is working to create “better meat to address the most pressing challenges of our generation: climate change, food security, and health.” Overfishing is one of the most pressing risks of our generation – dwindling fishing stocks threaten the oceans ecosystems as well as our own way of life – but Wild Type is working towards finding a solution by developing sustainable alternatives.

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Marine Life Declines Considerably In Worst Case Climate Crisis Scenario

Marine Life Declines Considerably In Worst Case Climate Crisis Scenario

A new study published on Tuesday by the National Academies of Science found that all the marine life in the ocean will decline by one-sixth by the year 2100 under the high emissions global warming scenario but on by 5% if we can stay within the low emissions scenario — with an average 5% decline for every 1 °C of warming. These losses are driven by temperature increases rather than fishing and were more significant in the tropics. 

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Ocean Warming Causing Fish Migrations and Strife

Ocean Warming Causing Fish Migrations and Strife

Warming ocean temperatures are causing fish populations to migrate north, complicating fisheries management and fishing businesses that are not able to keep up because the fishery-specific regulations and catch quotas are regional and they no longer align with where the fish are being found.  

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One cool thing: satellite poop images help scientists monitor Adélie penguin diets

One cool thing: satellite poop images help scientists monitor Adélie penguin diets

What’s the best way to track remote colonies of Adélie penguins and figure out what they’re eating? Monitor their poop using satellites. Landsat satellite images have been used to monitor the Earth since 1970 and while they have been able to tell scientists how many penguins make up a colony by tracking the size of penguin poop stains, […]

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Climate change is an increasing challenge for fishing industry

Climate change is an increasing challenge for fishing industry

Warming ocean temperatures are causing massive changes for fishermen, some of which may force them out of business, according to several recent stories examining the impacts of climate change on the fishing industry. 

Why This Matters:  Warming waters that shift fish populations make a barely viable business downright impossible for many small and medium-sized fishing operations.  Not to mention the additional fuel and time it takes to chase fewer fish, that are now found farther from ports.  Watching this play out is painful in U.S. fishing communities, but for many parts of the world, it could become a real food security crisis.  The U.S. government currently is very lethargic in changing its fisheries management schemes even as the evidence of shifting fish populations grows.  Given the challenges of climate change, a more engaged approach to fisheries management that takes climate change into account is needed.  It will benefit the fishermen and the fish populations as well.  

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