Welcome to Sustainable Fisheries

NAFO actions grossly inadequate/Etchegary

When will NAFO seriously take conservation and rebuilding  measures and impose a moratorium on ALL NAFO  fisheries operations on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.  To give the straddling fisheries in that area any hope of recovery NAFO must take the same measures Canadian  fishermen have had to endure for the last TWENTY years.  During that period we have lost 15 percent of our fishing  population (80,000) to seek employment out of  the Province and with them the loss of 30,000 jobs  resulting from the fisheries collapse caused by NAFO overfishing and DFO mismanagement. The NAFO propaganda contained in recent press releases will undoubtedly be acceptable to some. The recent WWF report, supporting this toothless organization, is dead wrong and will not be taken seriously by most NLERS. People with real knowledge of the history of our fisheries between 1949 and 2011 will know the vast difference between truth and fantasy concerning  NAFO fisheries management. It appears the WWF is insulated from the real world of fisheries on the straddling stocks of the Grand Banks. 

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Fisheries of the United States 2010

 NOAA Fisheries recently released its Fisheries of the United States 2010 report. Fisheries of the U.S. is an annual snapshot of the landings and value of U.S. fisheries. This year it contains some good news - landings were up and the value of those landings was up. U.S. commercial fishermen landed 8.2 billion pounds of seafood valued at $4.5 billion in 2010, an increase of 200 million pounds over 2009 and an increase in value of more than $600 million from 2009. In 2010, the average American ate 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish, a slight decline from the 2009 figure of 16 pounds. On a global scale, the U.S. continues to be third-ranked for consuming fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. Imported seafood continues to increase to help fill consumer demand - about 86 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. was imported from overseas. Read the full report online.

TAGS: NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fisheries, Fisheries of the U.S., fisheries statistics

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Fraser Sockeye deaths blamed on virus/ Updated

After months of reputedly being muzzled, DFO scientist Kristi Miller testified at the Cohen Inquiry. DFO head of molecular genetics Dr. Kristi Miller may have found the so-called smoking gun that is killing sockeye in the Fraser River. Miller and her colleagues have concluded that many sockeye are entering the Fraser in a weakened state, possibly because of viral infections, which may be caused by salmon leukemia, or a contagious virus. Miller said that fish with the genomic sequence she has identified are generally more susceptible to death in rivers and are clearly ailing before reaching freshwater rivers. More here

Dr. Miller created a stir at the hearing on Wednesday when she said the parvovirus “could be the smoking gun” in the disappearance of millions of Fraser sockeye in 2009. One day later, she tried to pour cold water on that statement and cautioned a lot more work is needed. “What I really meant was that this could be a major factor, not the major factor, because I also agree with others that there is no major single factor. I did put a lot of ifs, ands, or buts at the time I made that statement. The main one is that we have to be able to demonstrate that we have an infectious disease, that it causes mortality.” More here

On Thursday, it emerged that Dr. Miller's husband is a "major shareholder" in a B.C. aquaculture company that raises farmed shellfish, and that she has served as "chief scientific advisor" to the company's U.S.-based parent, Ocean Smart Inc.

TAGS: fisheries, sustainable, Fraser River, sockeye salmon, viral infections, salmon mortality, Cohen Commission, Kristi Miller

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Atlantic cod stocks show signs of recovery/Updated

According to new research published July 27 in Nature, cod and other groundfish populations off the east coast of Canada are showing signs of recovery more than 20 years after the fisheries collapsed in the early 1990s. The research, undertaken by scientists at DFO's Bedford Institute of Oceanography and Queen's University, shows that cod, as well as other groundfish populations, are increasing in numbers off the coast of Nova Scotia. The stidy indicates that ecosystem hifts prevented the stocks from replenishing before now. When cod and groundfish were plentiful, they fed off smaller "forage fish." When overfishing depleted the bigger fish's populations, the forage fish turned to bigger fish's spawn for food, including baby cod.Over the years, the forage fish population swelled to almost 900 times its original numbers, preventing groundfish stocks from recovering. A subsequent decline in forage fish numbers  has facilitated the recovery of the cod and haddock populations on the Scotian Shelf. The scientists speculate that this "bodes well" for other collapsed fisheries north of Nova Scoptia, such as off the coast of Newfoundland. More here and here

NOTE:There has been extensive media of this story in the past couple of days. Much of it exagerates the area and extent of recovery for cod. This study deals only with the Eastern Scotian Shelf. One of the best summaries of the research and its implications can be found here

TAGS: fisheries, sustainable, Atlantic cod, haddock, Atlantic groundfish,  recovery, forage fish, ecosystem shifts, Bedford Institute, Queen's University, Ken Frank, William Leggett

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Global Trends in Marine Fishery Status

Trevor Branch and Ray Hilborn, with some colleagues, have published a paper in Conservation Biology contrasting global trends in marine fishery status obtained from catches and from stock assessments (here).On the basis of catch trends, it has been suggested that about 70% of all stocks are overexploited due to unsustainable harvesting and 30% of all stocks have collapsed to <10% of unfished levels. In Branch et al (2011)'s comparison of biomass data with catch trends, catch trends overestimated the percentage of overexploited and collapsed stocks. Although their biomass data were primarily from industrial fisheries in developed countries, the status of these stocks estimated from catch data was similar to the status of stocks in the rest of the world estimated from catch data. They  concluded that at present 28–33% of all stocks are overexploited and 7–13% of all stocks are collapsed. Additionally, the proportion of fished stocks that are overexploited or collapsed has been fairly stable in recent years.

TAGS: fisheries, sustainable, overfishing, overexploitation, fishery trends, marine fishery trends, Trevor Branch, Ray Hilborn

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