Bigger doesn’t mean better for hatchery-released salmon

Science Daily – Fish permeate the culture of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). In particular, the iconic salmon has been an important part of the region for thousands of years, from ancient Native American trade routes and legends to modern fishing and sporting. In the area of the Salish Sea -- inland waterways including Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca -- the Read More…

The Ecological Cost of Mosquito Net Fishing

Modern Farmer – Unable to afford fishing nets, fishermen in poor countries have been using anti-malaria mosquito nets to catch fish and feed their families. This practice has alarmed researchers who worry the misuse of the nets will pose risks to health, devastate ecosystems and threaten food security. Until now, experts have only been able to speculate about the impacts this kind of Read More…

Tuna carbon ratios reveal shift in food web

Science Daily – The ratio of carbon isotopes in three common species of tuna has changed substantially since 2000, suggesting major shifts are taking place in phytoplankton populations that form the base of the ocean's food web, a new international study finds. "The change we observed in tuna, which are near the top of the marine food web, reflects profound changes in physiology or Read More…

Where plastic outnumbers fish by seven to one

BBC News – Plastic is building up in the areas of the ocean where fish feed and grow, according to research. A study found bits of plastic outnumber baby fish by seven to one in nursery waters off Hawaii. It appears that the same ocean processes that concentrate prey for juvenile fish also accumulate floating plastics. There is growing evidence that plastic is being ingested by marine life, Read More…

Antidepressants make shrimps see the light

Science Daily – Rising levels of antidepressants in coastal waters could change sea-life behaviour and potentially damage the food-chain, according to a new study. Research into the behaviour of shrimps exposed to the antidepressant fluoxetine, showed that their behaviour is dramatically affected. The shrimps are five times more likely to swim toward the light instead of away from it -- Read More…

Researchers Look to Wetlands to Increase Delta Water Quality

UC Merced – UC Merced Professor Peggy O’Day hopes to improve water quality in the California Delta by studying local wetlands. O’Day is leading a new three-year study of Merced County wetlands that drain into the San Joaquin River and eventually the Delta. “The Delta is sort of the heart and lungs of Northern California,” said O’Day, a geochemistry professor, founding faculty Read More…

Millions of seabirds rely on discarded fish

University of Exeter – Millions of scavenging seabirds survive on fish discarded by North Sea fishing vessels, new research shows. University of Exeter scientists estimate that 267,000 tonnes of fish was discarded in the North Sea in 2010 – enough to feed 3.45 million birds. This discard figure is down from almost 510,000 tonnes – enough for an estimated 5.66 million birds – in Read More…

Machine learning helps accelerate NOAA fish surveys

KTUU – Artificial intelligence is changing one of the most tedious of biologists' tasks: fish counting. With advances in underwater camera technology and machine-learning-based image processing, biologists with NOAA Fisheries have been able to complete some fish surveys in a fraction of the amount of time previously needed. The survey data is incorporated into stock assessments, which Read More…

Study shows invasive blue catfish can tolerate high salinities

William & Mary – A new study by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science warns that blue catfish — an invasive species in several Chesapeake Bay tributaries — tolerate salinities higher than most freshwater fishes, and thus may be able to expand their range downstream into mainstem Chesapeake waters, and from there into new bay tributaries and even Read More…

New detection system tracks steelhead

The Challis Messenger – The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s wild steelhead monitoring infrastructure has been improved with the addition of a fish-detection system in Marsh Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork Salmon River. It allows Fish and Game biologists to monitor wild steelhead as they move around Idaho. the fish have been fitted with passive integrated transponders which can Read More…