State fisheries scientist tackles marine ecology of salmon off…

KFSK — The state of Alaska now has a scientist at work trying to tackle the big question – what’s happening to Alaska salmon once they’re in the ocean environment? That task falls to Katie Howard, an Anchorage-based fisheries scientist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries. She’s been working for Fish and Game since 2009 but started in Read More…

Oceana report: Ocean plastic pollution is becoming marine…

TCPalm — The amount of trash that is floating in our seas and washes up on the beaches of the world is staggering. Scientists estimate that close to 15 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean each year. That would be as if two garbage trucks full of plastic were dumped into the ocean every minute, report authors claim. Plastic pollution in the world's oceans is killing turtles, whales, Read More…

Research funded by federal power marketing agency suggests dams…

The Spokesman-Review — A controversial new study is challenging long-standing science that pins salmon declines in the Snake River Basin on dams and is roiling the already rough waters of fish recovery. The work by British Columbia scientist David Welch puts the blame for poor returns of adult Snake River spring and fall chinook salmon on conditions in the Pacific Ocean instead of the Read More…

New genetic tools will deliver improved farmed fish, oysters, and…

Science Magazine — Two years ago, off the coast of Norway, the blue-hulled Ro Fjell pulled alongside Ocean Farm 1, a steel-netted pen the size of a city block. Attaching a heavy vacuum hose to the pen, the ship’s crew began to pump brawny adult salmon out of the water and into a tank below deck. Later, they offloaded the fish at a shore-based processing facility owned by SalMar, a major Read More…

Smelt Get a Review, But No Change In Status

JD Supra — On November 16, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published its annual review of species that are candidates for listing as either threatened or endangered species, its findings on resubmitted petitions for listing actions, and its annual description of progress on pending listing actions.  Among those pending listing actions are two petitions that are highly Read More…

Zero Delta Smelt Found in Latest Search. New Habitat Hopes To Change…

GV Wire — An annual search for a tiny endangered and contentious fish in the sprawling California Delta has once again come up empty. The state’s annual Fall Midwater Trawl Survey found no delta smelt in September’s sampling of the critical waterway. The last time the rare fish turned up in a survey was in October 2017 when just two were found. Hoping to reverse the recent trend, Read More…

Problems Abound With At-Sea Transfer of Fish in Pacific, Atlantic and…

PEW Charitable Trusts — Transshipment, a vital but largely hidden part of the global commercial fishing industry, involves hundreds of refrigerated ships roaming the ocean, taking in catch from thousands of fishing vessels and transporting it for processing. Because most transshipments take place far out at sea – out of the sight of authorities – unscrupulous operators can hide or Read More…

Puget Sound kelp need your help; kelp beds disappearing throughout…

MyNorthwest — If you decide to socially distance on a boat, be sure to look down into the water — you could be unknowingly harming kelp beds. An effort is underway with federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofits, and tribes to save the Puget Sound’s kelp. The stakeholders include, among others, the Northwest Straits Commission, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Read More…

Study supports theory that fish fins evolved from gill arches

New Atlas — The skeletal structure of a fish's gill arches and paired fins are quite similar – enough so that it was once believed the fins evolved from the arches. Although that theory has since been discounted, a new study suggests it may have been right on the money. First of all, "paired" simply refers to fins that there are a matching set of, like the pectoral fins located at the Read More…

Otters Show How Predators Can Blunt Climate Damage

Scientific American — While scuba diving around the Aleutian Islands in 2014, marine ecologist Doug Rasher saw little sign of the curtains of lush green kelp forests he would have had to push through decades earlier. “It feels like a ghost town,” says Rasher, a researcher at the nonprofit Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The eeriness did not end there: during a boat ride, one of Read More…