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CANADA: FFAW, processors make crab deal

CANADA: FFAW, processors make crab deal | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) have come to an agreement on pricing for the crab fishery.


In a news release issued Saturday, the FFAW said that processors will pay $0.17 per pound on top of the $1.83 per pound price established by the price-setting panel for all sales made before May 5.


The two sides will also set up a joint working group to look at further options on crab pricing structures in an effort to avoid disputes in the future. It will aim to have a more effective pricing structure in place for next season.


The FFAW has also made a request to the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to approve a pilot project to grant exemptions from minimum processing requirements that would allow crab fishing licence holders to export up to one million pounds of crab to buyers outside the province. The union said it expects to hear back from the province shortly.



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STUDY: Study on the implementation of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund

STUDY: Study on the implementation of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |



This report has been prepared with the financial support of the European Commission. The views expressed in this evaluation report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission or of its services.

This is especially the case where finance/budget is referred to, where the evaluator's analyses are sometimes based on non-exhaustive data (commitments instead of payments) and where, for this reason, the European Commission does not fully endorse the findings of the report with the authors.

Final report:


Executive summary:




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VIET NAM: Minimum wage not enough

VIET NAM: Minimum wage not enough | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

HA NOI (VNS) — The current minimum wage meets barely 75 per cent of the minimum living standard, said Nguyen Tien Dang, head of the Salary Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a labour conference in Ha Noi yesterday.


Wage negotiation mechanisms remained limited, so many enterprises forced their staff to accept low pay, Dang said. Moreover, the separation of wages by region led to confusion for areas on the border between regions, making implementation difficult.


The minimum wage currently ranges from VND1.9-2.7 million (over US$90-130).


However, Dang said the National Salary Committee aimed to raise the minimum wage gradually until it met the minimum living standard of workers while remaining within enterprises' payment capacity.


The authorities also supported the signing of collective labour agreements in some industries so that minimum wages for those industries could be set, a mechanism that has already been piloted by the textile and rubber industries.


He also recommended that regulations dictating hourly and daily minimum wages be put in place to protect those engaging in part-time work.


Mai Duc Thien, deputy director of MoLISA's Legal Department, reminded participants that the Labour Code already set out basic minimum wage regulations.


Specifically, the code stipulated that minimum wage negotiations must include representatives of the Government as well as employers and employees and that wages should be sufficient to meet the minimum living standard.


State officials said that a Law on Minimum Wage would be added to the law development agenda of the National Assembly in 2016. — VNS



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SAUDI ARABIA: Shrimp season begins Friday

SAUDI ARABIA: Shrimp season begins Friday | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

QATIF — More than 600 boats will set sail from different ports in the Eastern Province when the shrimp harvest season officially begins on Friday.

The season will last for six months and fishermen will sail to shrimp traps set up in the Arabian Gulf during the first round of the season when they seek shrimp closer to the shore, Al-Yaum daily reported.

Most shrimpers have completed all preparations and readied their equipment for the season, while others are expected to be ready by the end of the week. In addition, fishermen are also seeking to obtain the required licenses from the Ministry of Agriculture.

A source in the Research Center of Fisheries in the Eastern Province said the center is accepting requests for licenses throughout the season.

The source pointed out that shrimpers can use their licenses to fish and vice versa during the season. He said issuing licenses does not take a long time.

"Indicators confirm that last season was positive from the beginning to end, and the high yield had a positive effect on prices," the source said.

Fisherman Eisa Al-Sowaiti said the cost of preparing a boat for fishing is between SR20,000 and SR25,000, and fishermen who have more than one boat have to borrow money before the season begins.

Fisherman Redha Al-Fardan said there are two types of fishing boats; those that sail into the north of the Gulf and return six or seven days later, usually with large catches that flood the market. Other boats sail to nearby areas in the Gulf and usually return a day or two later. He added that a second or third round of fishing provides an indication of the abundance of shrimp.

Spokesman for the Eastern Province Border Guards Adm. Khalid Al-Arqoubi said the force monitors the implementation of fishing regulations that are set by the Ministry of Agriculture.


Saudi Gazette report


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ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Δεσμεύτηκε ο αρμόδιος Υπουργός για βελτιωτικές αλλαγές στο νομοσχέδιο των υδατοκαλλιεργειών

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Δεσμεύτηκε ο αρμόδιος Υπουργός για βελτιωτικές αλλαγές στο νομοσχέδιο των υδατοκαλλιεργειών | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Με προτάσεις, παρατηρήσεις αλλά και ενστάσεις επί ορισμένων διατάξεων του νομοσχεδίου για τις υδατοκαλλιέργειες, εμφανίστηκαν οι αρμόδιοι φορείς που είχαν κληθεί να εκφράσουν τις απόψεις τους στην αρμόδια Επιτροπή της Βουλής, ενώ ο αρμόδιος υπουργός Γιώργος Καρασμάνης τους διαβεβαίωσε ότι θα προχωρήσει σε βελτιωτικές αλλαγές.


Ο πρόεδρος της Ένωσης Περιφερειών Κώστας Αγοραστός, υποστήριξε ότι οι ρυθμίσεις του νομοσχεδίου αγνοούν τον ρόλο της αιρετής περιφέρειας και τον υποβαθμίζουν.


«Θέλετε το μακρύ χέρι του κράτους να μην δίνει λόγο στις τοπικές κοινωνίες. Είναι αδιανόητο να καταργούνται οι αρμοδιότητες της Περιφερειακής διοίκησης. Θα πρέπει να επιτραπεί στις Περιφέρειες να διαχειρίζονται τις ιχθυόσκαλες», υπογράμμισε χαρακτηριστικά ο κ. Αγοραστός και πρόσθεσε:


«Δεν γίνεται έτσι καμία μεταρρύθμιση και όποιος το λέει είναι αλλού. Ούτε μία ιχθυοκαλλιέργεια δεν θα κάνετε αν δεν έχετε συμμάχους στις περιφέρειες. Ήρθαμε για να συνεργαστούμε και όχι να μας αποψιλώσετε.


Ψηφίστε το νομοσχέδιο χωρίς να μας ακούσετε και σας λέω ότι στη περιφέρεια Θεσσαλίας δεν θα γίνει ούτε μία ιχθυοκαλλιέργεια αν δεν έχει τον κόσμο μαζί του».


Στο ίδιο μήκος κύματος κινήθηκε και ο αντιπεριφερειάρχης Αργοσαρωνικού Παναγιώτης Χατζηπέρος, που τόνισε ότι η Τοπική Αυτοδιοίκηση Α΄ και Β΄ βαθμού δεν έχει ληφθεί υπόψη.


«Θα έχουμε τεράστια προβλήματα, θα δημιουργηθούν αντιδράσεις από τους κατοίκους και δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να εγκατασταθεί οποιαδήποτε ιχθυοκαλλιέργεια στον Αργοσαρωνικό αν δεν αλλάξει αυτό», ανέφερε.


Για νομοσχέδιο που κινείται προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση αλλά χρειάζεται ορισμένες βελτιώσεις, έκανε λόγο ο εκπρόσωπος της ΠΑΣΕΓΕΣ Γιάννης Κολυβάς, ζητώντας στο εθνικό πρόγραμμα ανάπτυξης υδατοκαλλιεργειών , να συμπεριληφθεί η προώθηση και ενίσχυση των αγροτικών συνεταιρισμών.


Από την πλευρά του, ο εκπρόσωπος του Πανελλήνιου Συλλόγου Ιχθυολόγων Κωνσταντίνος Τσαμαδιάς, αναγνώρισε ότι το σημερινό σχέδιο νόμου είναι σαφώς βελτιωμένο και διαφοροποιημένο από το αρχικό, τόνισε όμως την ανάγκη να γίνει πιο δυναμικό, να μην απαξιώνεται ο ρόλος των τοπικών κοινωνιών ούτε να αγνοείται η εμπειρία του επιστημονικού προσωπικού.


«Το νομοσχέδιο είναι προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση, διευκολύνει την επιχειρηματικότητα, διασφαλίζει την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος και εξασφαλίζει συνθήκες πλήρους διαφάνειας » υπογράμμισε ο εκπρόσωπος του Συνδέσμου Ελληνικών Θαλασσοκαλλιεργειών Γιώργος Μπιτσάκος, προσθέτοντας ότι πάντως επιδέχεται περαιτέρω βελτιώσεις.


Ο εκπρόσωπος του Πανελλήνιου Συλλόγου Τεχνολόγων Ιχθυολόγων Ηλίας Τυλιγάδας, σημείωσε μεταξύ άλλων, ότι, «το νομοσχέδιο δεν δίνει την δυνατότητα να μην επανέλθουμε σε λίγα χρόνια στην ίδια κατάσταση με μονάδες ιχθυοκαλλιέργειας που βρίσκονται στο χείλος του γκρεμού».


Να μην υπάρχει ο περιορισμός των πέντε ετών στην παραχώρηση υδάτινων εκτάσεων ώστε να μην περιορίζει την ανάπτυξη, ζήτησε ο εκπρόσωπος του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Θαλάσσιων Ερευνών Βασίλης Λυκούσης.


«Θετική είναι η κατεύθυνση του νομοσχεδίου που διευθετεί κυρίως θέματα αδειοδοτήσεων», επεσήμανε από τον πλευρά του ο εκπρόσωπος της Πανελλήνιας Ένωσης Μικρομεσαίων Ιχθυοκαλλιεργητών, Παναγιώτης Αντωνόπουλός.




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EUROPEAN UNION: Part of EU fleet can continue fishing in Mauritanian waters until end of 2014

EUROPEAN UNION: Part of EU fleet can continue fishing in Mauritanian waters until end of 2014 | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

EU vessels fishing shrimps and small pelagics in Mauritanian waters in the framework of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Protocol will be able to continue to do so until 15 December 2014. This is part of the compromise which EU negotiators found last night in Nouakchott after the Mauritanian authorities had upheld the position that all EU vessels would have to leave Mauritanian waters as of 1 August 2014.


According to the agreement found, Mauritania accepted EU fishing activities for a period of 24 months as part of the bilateral Fisheries Protocol, hence the shrimps and small pelagics fisheries which started in January 2013 can continue, whereas those EU vessels which had been fishing tuna and demersals since August 2012 during a transitional period will need to leave Mauritanian waters today. Furthermore, the EU and Mauritania agreed to continue the discussions for a renewed Fisheries Protocol so as to allow the full EU fleet to resume their activities soon.



The current Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mauritania allows 69 fishing vessels from 7 EU Member States to operate in Mauritanian waters, in return for financial assistance by the EU to develop the Mauritanian fisheries sector. To renew and improve this protocol, the EU and Mauritania have held three rounds of negotiations since early May 2014. The latest round took place on 29-30 July in order to bridge the differences between both sides.


Ahead of this week's talks, the EU and Mauritania had developed diverging interpretations on the expiration date of the current Protocol. Whereas the text of the Protocol clearly indicates that it expires on 15 December this year, Mauritania considered that the EU fleet has to leave Mauritanian waters from 1st August. According to the compromise found, all EU fleets would be given the opportunity to fish during 24 months starting from the first period of authorisation granted to the corresponding fleet segment: 2012 for demersal (black hake and other demersals) and tuna fleets (purse seiners, longliners and pole-and-line) and 2013 for shrimp and small pelagic fleets. As a consequence, demersal and tuna fleets will have to stop fishing from the 1st August 2014 while shrimps and small pelagic fleets will be given the opportunity to continue fishing until 15 December 2014.


The EU and Mauritania also agreed to meet in Brussels for a 4th round of negotiations for the updated Fisheries Protocol, which should be negotiated on the basis of the principles established in the reformed EU Common Fishery Policy: sustainability of fish stocks, better value for money in terms of access to Mauritanian waters, improved transparency and non-discrimination amongst the EU and other third countries' fleets.


For more information on the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement:


Press Release 27/07/2012:


The Fisheries Partnership Agreement:




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ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Φωνή απόγνωσης από τους ψαράδες της Ρόδου

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Φωνή απόγνωσης από  τους ψαράδες της Ρόδου | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Την αγωνία τους εκφράζουν με επιστολή τους προς τον Υπουργό Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης και Τροφίμων οι  επαγγελματίες ψαράδες της Ρόδου, εξαιτίας της δραματικής πορείας που έχει το επάγγελμά τους τα τελευταία χρόνια.

Ο πρόεδρος του Σωματείου επαγγελματιών παράκτιων αλιέων Ρόδου, κ. Σωτήρης Ζαννάκης αναφέρει συγκεκριμένα στην επιστολή που απέστειλε:

“Κύρε Υπουργέ, τα τελευταία χρόνια η παράκτια αλιεία και οι επαγγελματίες ψαράδες έχουν αφεθεί στην τύχη τους. Η κατάσταση της θάλασσας στην περιοχή μας γίνεται ολοένα και πιο δραματική, προκαλώντας αβεβαιότητα στους επαγγελματίες ψαράδες.

Ξενικά είδη

Πριν δέκα περίπου χρόνια, ένα ξενικό είδος ψαριού έκανε την εμφάνισή του στις θάλασσές μας και δεν είναι άλλο από το περίφημο λαγόψαρο (επιστημονικά Lagocephalus sceleratus). Οι οικολογικές αλλά και κοινωνικό-οικονομικές επιπτώσεις που προκαλεί στους αλιείς έχουν καταγραφεί από ερευνητές του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Θαλάσσιων Ερευνών στην Ρόδο καθώς το συγκεκριμένο ψάρι περιέχει τοξίνη (τετροδοτοξίνη) που μπορεί να προκαλέσει μυική παράλυση και να αποφέρει τον θάνατο σε όποιον το καταναλώσει.  Καθώς η Κύπρος ήδη έχει προχωρήσει σε 2 δράσεις για την καταπολέμηση του συγκεκριμένου είδους, ζητάμε και την δική σας παρέμβαση προς αντιμετώπιση αυτής της δυσβάσταχτης για μας μάστιγας στην παράκτια αλιεία.

Κατανομή Αλιεύματος

Η ζημιά που έχει υποστεί η θάλασσά μας τα τελευταία τέσσερα χρόνια είναι τεράστια. Ενδεικτικό είναι ότι αυτό το διάστημα μόνο από την περιοχή της Ρόδου έχουν αλιευθεί περίπου 1000 τόνοι μαγιάτικο. Αυτά τα ψάρια δεν αλιεύτηκαν ισόποσα από τους επαγγελματίες ψαράδες, αλλά έχουν αλιευθεί από 2-3 σκάφη μέσης αλιείας (γρι-γρι) τα οποία δρουν ανεξέλεγκτα στην θάλασσα, έχοντας ηλεκτρονικά συστήματα εντοπισμού ψαριών (sonar) με αποτέλεσμα να έχει διαταραχθεί η ισορροπία στη θάλασσά μας.

Τα σκάφη αυτά με διάφορες παράνομες τακτικές όπως είναι το μεγάλο ύψος των διχτυών τους σε σχέση με το επιτρεπόμενο όριο, την παράνομη τροφή που ρίχνουν στο κοπάδι (μαλάγρωμα), έχουν οδηγήσει τους παράκτιους αλιείς στην απόγνωση αφού δεν μπορούν να βγάλουν το μεροκάματό τους λόγω έλλειψης αλιευμάτων. Ταυτόχρονα τα σκάφη αυτά με τα μέσα που διαθέτουν αλιεύουν οποιοδήποτε κοπάδι ψαριών εντοπίσουν με αποτέλεσμα να μειώνεται δραματικά το αλιευτικό απόθεμα και το μεροκάματο των παράκτιων αλιέων. 

Πριν να είναι πολύ αργά για τους επαγγελματίες ψαράδες των νησιών μας πρέπει να ληφθούν άμεσα μέτρα για την προστασία της θάλασσας, του αλιεύματος και εν τέλει του επαγγελματία ψαρά. Προτείνουμε με σειρά προτεραιότητας:

1. Να εφαρμοστεί ένα πρόγραμμα επιδότησης για τους επαγγελματίες ψαράδες,  προκειμένου αυτοί να σταματούν την αλίευση κατά την περίοδο της αναπαραγωγής των ψαριών μέσω δημιουργίας από ζώνες ανάπτυξης και πολλαπλασιασμού των ψαριών φυλασσόμενες.

2. Να αυξηθεί η επιτήρηση της αλιείας από τις αρμόδιες αρχές.

3. Να επιτραπεί στα σκάφη της παράκτιας αλιείας να ασκούν αλιευτικό τουρισμό ως ένα πρόσθετο έσοδο για την επιβίωση των παράκτιων αλιέων. 

4. Να εφαρμοστεί ένα διαχειριστικό σχέδιο για την καταπολέμηση του λαγοκέφαλου.

5. Άμεση απαγόρευση αλίευσης μαγιάτικων από τα σκάφη της μέσης αλιείας, δεδομένου ότι αυτά έχουν περισσότερες επιλογές αλιευμάτων.

6. Να επιδοτηθούν αλιευτικά σκάφη για να καθαριστεί ο βυθός από τα εγκαταλελειμμένα δίχτυα και παραγάδια που αποτελούν παγίδες θανάτου για τα ψάρια, μειώνοντας το αλίευμα.

7. Να επανέλθει το πρόγραμμα απόσυρσης σκαφών.

Κύριε υπουργέ, θεωρούμε ότι οι παραπάνω προτάσεις είναι εφικτές και θα δώσουν σημαντική ανάσα στους επαγγελματίες ψαράδες της περιοχής μας. Το ενδιαφέρον μας για υγιή αποθέματα αποδεικνύεται έμπρακτα με την συνεχή συνεργασία μας με τους ερευνητές του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Θαλάσσιων Ερευνών στην Ρόδο καθώς και τις αρμόδιες αρχές της Περιφέρειας  Νοτίου Αιγαίου και Λιμενικές Αρχές.
Σε κάθε περίπτωση θα είμαστε στην διάθεσή σας για οτιδήποτε χρειαστείτε”.




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MAGAZINE: Aquaculture - August / September 2014

Yellowtail kingfish – a quest for new aquaculture species in Chile
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MAGAZINE: FishMonster - August 2014

The fishing, diving and boating Magazine of the Florida Keys
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SPAIN: Sea urchin embryos managed to be frozen for toxicity studies

SPAIN: Sea urchin embryos managed to be frozen for toxicity studies | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

A team of researchers from the University of Vigo (UV) has established the first protocol for cryopreservation of sea urchin embryos to be used in the detection of contaminants and in the field of aquaculture.


Cryopreservation makes it possible to maintain biological materials at very low temperatures but its use in the marine environment is still very low in the world.


Marine Ecotoxicology group of the UV uses sea urchin embryos in bioassays to detect the presence of contaminants but one of the constraints being faced is the seasonal variability of the resource.


"Hopefully, we have them for five months a year," explains Estefanía Paredes, whose doctoral thesis focuses on the cryopreservation method developed.

Hence the importance of having a cryobanking cells, adds the expert in Marine Sciences.


Paredes travelled to New Zealand twice and in the Cawthron Institute became acquainted with the cryopreservation techniques used by the group of the expert Serean Adams with the New Zealand mussel (Perna canaliculus) and the oyster (Crassostrea gigas).


The PhD student decided to include both species in her project as well as the Galician mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), the newspaper La Opinión reported.


Besides, she travelled to the United States and at the University of Tennessee she worked with Peter Mazur, a pioneer in embryo freezing.

Mazur's lab achieved the first successful cryopreservation of mouse embryos in the 70s.


Paredes explains the cryopreservation of the four species selected is performed in the early stages, namely, during the trochophore larva stage, which appears at 14-16 hours after the embryo is formed.


As with the sea urchin the Spanish group started from scratch, it really did not know how their larvae could be cryopreserved.


According to Paredes, it is a process that is "really elaborate and delicate," in which the most critical elements are the cryoprotectants and freezing rates. 


"The cryoprotectants are like the antifreeze from a car and it allows the cells to slowly dehydrate until they freeze without forming ice inside, causing their death," the expert continued explaining.


Since there is also the danger that the antifreeze intoxicates the larvae so its choice requires great care.


As to the freezing rate, this "determines how many degrees per minute the temperature can be made to go down for the dehydration process to take place under suitable conditions."


When the embryos are frozen, they are submerged in liquid nitrogen at almost 200 °C. If the process has been successful, when the embryos are thawed, they are reactivated gradually.


The researcher set a portable cryo-chamber that allowed her to perform her studies in the laboratories of the campus and the Marine Science Station in Toralla (ECIMAT).


The biologist compared the results of the bioassays performed with fresh larvae with those that were frozen, and concluded that the frozen ones can offer the same reliability in the detection of organic pollutants and heavy metals in seawater.


By Analia Murias

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PORTUGAL: Scientists produce sun protection from recycled fish bones

PORTUGAL: Scientists produce sun protection from recycled fish bones | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

PORTO  - A team of researchers at Portuguese Catholic University in Porto has developed an effective new sunscreen derived from recycled cod fish bones.


Portugal scientists have made the new sunscreen by treating cod bones with FeCl2solution for three hours at 65-70 øC, Press TV reported.


"They then dried the bones overnight and calcined at 700 øC for one hour, yielding multiphasic materials containing HAp, iron-substituted HAp and a small amount of hematite that absorbs UV radiation," explained Clara Piccirillo from the Portuguese Catholic University.


"Iron oxide was already reported as a UV absorber; in our material, the presence of calcium iron hydrogen phosphate (Ca9FeH(PO4)7) increases the absorption and extends it over the whole UV range," Piccirillo also noted.


In next step the prepared materials were made into creams.  Various tests revealed the good photostability and a UVA-to-UVB ratio even greater than 0.90, which means that the production has proved to be a comparable protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.


The naturally derived sunscreen was tested on 20 human volunteers who had a small quantity of the cream applied to an area of their skin for 48 hours and showed no adverse allergic reaction.


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UNITED KINGDOM: Salmon stocks at risk as sand eels are overfished

UNITED KINGDOM: Salmon stocks at risk as sand eels are overfished | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Fisheries are concerned about the future of salmon stocks as over-fishing of the sand eels they eat is causing fish to return to rivers smaller and thinner, making it more difficult for them to survive until spawning season.


Grilse salmon, which go out to sea to feed for just one winter before returning to rivers, are coming back to some watercourses earlier than normal, and thinner.


Fisheries believe this could be because their regular food supply, which is typically sand eels, is being overfished at sea to be made into fertiliser.


“The salmon that go out to the sea to feed for a year are definitely smaller now than they used to be,” said Chris Pearson, of Bishosptoke Water on the River Itchen in Hampshire.


“Sand eels and krill are being fished extensively, which means salmon can’t find a reliable food source like they used to be able to.


“They are coming back to the river very thin and coming in at this time of year means they have got to wait until January to spawn.


“In these months they are not feeding in the river. The problem is, have they got enough muscles in them to survive?”


Mr Pearson said he believed the issues were being caused by the overfishing of sand eels, caught to be made into fertiliser, as well as krill, a type of crustacean that salmon also feed on.


He added: “They’ve got to find a reliable food source and they are becoming more difficult to find. It’s pretty depressing really. It’s also linked to global warming, which is moving the food source and putting all stocks under severe pressure.”


The warm temperatures of recent weeks have also had an impact on some salmon fisheries which have had to stop fishing entirely.


On the River Avon while grylse have not returned necessarily smaller they have been coming back earlier, which experts think could be due to a lack of food.


Salmon fishing on the Avon was stopped earlier this month and experts do not believe they will be able to fish the river at all this season, which ends in August.


Under guidelines issued by the Environment Agency salmon fishing has to stop when the water temperature exceeds 66F (19C), as fish must be returned to the water after being caught and become too stressed at this level.


John Levell, who manages the Somerley estate on the River Avon, said: “Only in the last fortnight has the temperature gone above 19C and we have had to stop.


“I would be very surprised if we salmon fish again this season. Essentially salmon fishing in the Avon is over this year, which is bad news for fisheries.”


Mr Levell also said while he has not seen the grilse return particularly small they had come back earlier.


He added: “This year we saw grilse in early June, they were slightly smaller and returning from feeding grounds earlier.


“A reason could be sand eels, we don’t really know why. They are in fine form now, but it was surprise they were turning up.”




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MAGAZINE: Aquaculture Asia - January / March 2014

Sainable aquaculture

Peter Edwards writes on rural aquaculture: Towards meeting future demand for fish: Aquaculture in inland or marine land or water-based systems?

Status of carp farming in India
R. Laxmappa

Research and farming techniques
Recent trends in mariculture in S.E. Sulawesi, Indonesia: General considerations
Wa Iba Sahrir, La Ode M. Aslan, La Ode Ridwan Bolu, Geoff J. Gooley, Brett A. Ingram, Sena S. De Silva

Murrel culture in backyard cement tanks: A breakthrough and a success story
M. A. Haniffa and S. Jafar Sathik

Mobile telephony – ICT enabled fisheries extension service for sustainable shrimp farming
D. Deboral Vimala, K. Ramkumar, M. Kumaran, T. Ravisankar, P. Mahalakshmi, P. Ravichandran and A.G. Ponniah

NACA Newsletter

International Symposium on Small-scale Freshwater Aquaculture Extension, 2-5 December, Bangkok

12th Meeting of the Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health
National Workshop on EMS/AHPND of Cultured Shrimp held in I

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STUDY: Identification and characterization of the small-scale driftnet fisheries in the Mediterranean (DRIFTMED)

STUDY: Identification and characterization of the small-scale driftnet fisheries in the Mediterranean (DRIFTMED) | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |


This report has been prepared with the financial support of the European Commission. The views expressed in this evaluation report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission or of its services.

This is especially the case where finance/budget is referred to, where the evaluator's analyses are sometimes based on non-exhaustive data (commitments instead of payments) and where, for this reason, the European Commission does not fully endorse the findings of the report with the authors.

Final report:

Study published 28/7/2014

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PALAU: Pacific summit opens with plea to protect oceans

PALAU: Pacific summit opens with plea to protect oceans | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

The 45th annual meeting of Pacific Island leaders has officially begun in Palau with a message about protecting the world's oceans.


Political leaders and ministers from Pacific nations have been welcomed to Palau with an opening ceremony and state dinner.


The theme of this year's forum is 'The Ocean: Life and Future'.


Palau was the first country in the world to declare its waters a sanctuary for sharks.


Five years later, President Remengesau now wants the country's exclusive economic zone to be a sanctuary for all sealife.


"The tourism industry, which is our bread and butter, is the mother goose that lays the golden egg for us," he said.


"So the idea of Palau doing the marine sanctuary is for tourism, for food security and for the region."


Renowned American scientist Dr Sylvia Earle has devoted her life to studying marine ecosystems and has been in Palau for expert talks on the forum sidelines.


She says Palau's plan to ban commercial fishing is a breakthrough moment.


"Since I was a child - since the latter part of the 20th century - the decline of ocean wildlife is just stunning," she said.


"In 50 years, 90 per cent of many of the big fish are gone, and many of the small fish too are really hard hit, because our technologies are so good at extracting [them].


"There are limits to what we can take from the ocean and still have an ocean that functions."


She says ocean life forms a delicate nutrient cycle.


"On land when we cultivate the land, we have to fertilise the crops - in the ocean this happens naturally," she said.


"Call it fish poop, if you will...but its a certain cycling of nutrients - when big fish eat the smaller fish, they give back nutrients.


"This has taken hundreds of millions of years to develop and it's...fine-tuned - if you take big chunks out of this system you disrupt it [and] you don't have a system that functions.


Mr Remengesau says the Pacific Islands will need a commitment from other countries to make it a success.


"You can't have a marine protected areas or marine sanctuary without the capability to enforce it," he said.


"Thank goodness in today's world there are technologies that are affordable and effective for those kind of purposes.


Mr Remengesau says his country has benefited from Australian-donated patrol ships which help in marine surveillance.


The Small Island States are also seeking and building partnerships with charitable and environmental organisations and private companies.

Mr Remengesau says protecting the oceans is not just a Pacific Islands issue.


"This is an issue that highlights the fact that we are the window to the rest of the world of what happens if we don't address these ocean challenges."


What is the Pacific Islands Forum?

- First formed as the South Pacific Forum in 1971, with its first meeting in Wellington, New Zealand.


- Founding members were Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa (which is now Samoa).


- The name was changed to the Pacific Islands Forum in 2000, to reflect the geographic location of Forum members.


- Forum brings together leaders to discuss regional issues including trade, shipping, tourism, and education.


- There are 16 member states, but Fiji has been suspended since May 2009.


- New Caledonia and French Polynesia act as Associate Members.


- Several other Pacific nations and regional organisations have been granted Forum Observer status.


- The forum also conducts dialogue with partners across Asia, Europe and the United States.


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CANADA: Want To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Choose Mackerel Over Shrimp

CANADA: Want To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Choose Mackerel Over Shrimp | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Small fatty fish like mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies are high in omega-3s, vitamin D and low on the food chain.


Those shining attributes have earned them plenty of nods from doctors and environmentalists alike, as we've reported. They're not among the most popular seafoods in the U.S., though, partly because of their fishy taste.


But if you knew that eating these fish would mean shrinking your carbon footprint a wee bit, would that convince you to buy them over say, that bag of frozen shrimp you just mindlessly threw into your grocery cart?


Robert Parker is betting that if you care about eating greener, you'll want to know about how much fuel it takes to catch your favorite fish. He's a Ph.D. candidate from Nova Scotia, studying the fishing industry at the University of Tasmania in Australia.


Parker and Peter Tyedmers, who directs the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, recently published an analysis of a fishing industry fuel use database Tyedmers developed. Their analysis finds that fisheries producing the small fish – sardines, mackerel, and anchovies — are "among the most energy and carbon-efficient forms of protein production." The paper appeared in the journal Fish and Fisheries on July 4.


They also found that fishing for shrimp and lobster are almost as fuel-intensive as raising livestock. As we've reported, raising livestock has more of an impact on the environment than any other food we eat.


For example, Parker says, to catch a metric ton (about 2,200 pounds) of sardines or anchovies, it takes about 5 gallons of fuel.


In contrast, to get the same amount of lobster or shrimp, you'd burn an average of 2,100 to 2,600 gallons of fuel.


Now, U.S. and Canadian lobster outfits "are a bit more efficient because of the higher lobster biomass in the ocean," he says. But they are still burning close to 264 gallons of fuel to catch those 2,200 pounds of crustacean.


So why is all this fuel getting burned? As the fishing industry has evolved in the last century from throwing out a few lines over the local dock to industrialized operations, we've been able to fish in more parts of the ocean and freeze our catch right on the boats.

But "a consequence of many of these advancements has been the increased reliance of fisheries on larger vessels, the motorization of fishing fleets with more powerful engines and the increased demand by fisheries for fossil fuels to power everything from propulsion and gear operation to on-board processing, refrigeration and ancillary services such as navigational aids," the paper says.


And the boats – not the packing plants or trucks transporting fish to the store — are where the bulk of the burn comes from, Parker says. The energy needed to get fish to the dock accounts for 60 to 90 percent of the fishing industry's total energy use and emissions.


"Fuel is the second biggest cost" in fish production, says Parker, and labor is first, so to encourage more efficient fisheries – and fewer greenhouse gas emissions — we should be "implementing measures shown to decrease fuel consumption."


And what people do with the fish is inefficient, too. Much of the mackerel, sardines and anchovies get turned to livestock and aquaculture feed, rather than going right to hungry humans. So we're "taking an efficient system and making it part of an average or inefficient system," he says.


But getting more people to eat these fish is a tough sell, at least on this side of the Atlantic. Parker himself admits that he wasn't always a herring fan, but on a trip to Denmark, that's what was served at the hotel breakfast, so he gave it a try.


Now, he's a believer. "If you have pickled herring, it's one of the most delicious things," he says.


Parker acknowledges that his fuel and fishing study has some limitations. For starters, its largely built from fisheries data from Europe and Australia, where the best records are kept, as well as some from North America. The database does not have much data on fuel use and fishing in the developing world — yet.


Also, he notes, fisheries are not generally giant offenders when it comes to the food system's carbon emissions. "Fisheries in general have a relatively low carbon footprint when it comes to food ... they don't have [the] methane associated with cows, and feed costs," he says.


But they hope their work goes beyond emissions. "We're looking at all the different factors now – we need to feed people, we need to support rural communities, we need to provide healthy and high quality food to people – one niche issue is the role of fisheries in fuel consumption."


Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

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JAPAN: Algae under threat from invasive fish

JAPAN: Algae under threat from invasive fish | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |
Tropical fish invading temperate waters warmed as a result of climate change are overgrazing algae, posing a threat to biodiversity and some marine-based industries.

Read more at:

Tropical fish invading temperate waters warmed as a result of climate change are overgrazing algae, posing a threat to biodiversity and some marine-based industries.

Researchers have reported Japan and the Mediterranean show substantial evidence that the intrusion of tropical herbivorous fish has caused widespread loss of canopy forming macroalgae and the trend could be global.


According to their investigation similar trends are evident in parts of the US, South Africa, Brazil, eastern Australia and Western Australia where kelp forests have declined and in some cases appears to be the result of feeding by tropical or subtropical herbivorous fish.


In Western Australia, they found macroalgal species had collapsed following an extreme heat wave in 2011 when temperatures rose up to five degrees for weeks.


They describe emerging evidence from WA researchers Thomas Wernberg and Barry Hutchins of a southward movement of tropical and subtropical species into temperate waters at that time, preventing the macroalgae's recovery as they feed off the small recruit algae.


WA Department of Parks and Wildlife researcher Dr Shaun Wilson was part of the team investigating the trend worldwide.


He says while evidence of this in WA is anecdotal, the trend is well acknowledged in other parts of the world.


Feeding impact felt worldwide

For example, the linking of the tropical Red Sea and temperate Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal in 1869 allowed two species of rabbitfish (Signanus rivulatus) to move through and feed on macroalgae reducing it in some places up to 60 per cent.


In southern Japan increases in ocean temperature and a rise in tropical fish numbers coincided with the dramatic decline in kelp beds over three decades.


This increase led to the complete collapse of the abalone fishery in the region by 2000.


"That has implications for all the fish and invertebrate that reply on macroalgae for habitat," Dr Wilson says.


"There is herbivory in temperate systems now; what's alarming is that tropical herbivory by fish tends to be a lot more diverse and a lot more intense.


"The present systems may not be well enough equipped to deal with that new source of herbivory and that can have flow-on effects on the environment.


"Because we have a warming climate even winter is warmer than it was previously, providing conditions for fish to stay and continue to eat over the winter, so the fish are continuously removing that algae and preventing it from growing back."


More information: "The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts." Vergés A. Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Aug 22;281(1789). pii: 20140846.

Provided by Science Network WA


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CUBA: Aquaculture in Camagüey Reports the Best Catch in Cuba

CUBA: Aquaculture in Camagüey Reports the Best Catch in Cuba | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

Camagüey, July 29 - Aquafarming in Camagüey province shows an auspicious outcome regarding its annual catch plan, when reporting 3,256 metric tons, the largest catch in Cuba.


Mostly to be allocated for national consumption and a portion of it to be exported, the production by PESCACAM –a Cuban State-run fishing company- represents an increase of 8 percent if compared to plans, PESCACAM director Jesús García briefed the press.  


Although there are plenty of carps, catfish and, to a lesser extent, tilapias, the catches are no so intense either because we run out of inputs or because there are limitations in the fish processing industry.

Repairs and investments in two of three plants located in the municipalities of Sibanicú and Florida are already over in the industrial sector of PESCACAM, however Estrella Roja – the plant based in the city of Camagüey- is operating below full capacity.

Fundamental changes in its technology are about to happen in Estrella Roja plant, relocated today in the outskirt of the city, and the renovation should begin next year, García pointed out.

ACUICAM subsidiary in the municipality of Camagüey caught some 1,900 metric tones of fish from its reservoirs, getting closer to its annual plan which is 2,170; said Ricardo Miranda, the company’s director.  

He added that nearly a third of the total was caught in Jimaguayú dam, the main artificial lake of this province.

According to predictions, PESCACAM could end the year with approximately 5,000 metric tons of fish caught, which would be an outcome higher than expected in the plan.  

Processing the HG tench to be sold on the Caribbean market, mainly in the Dominican Republic, is among the actions PESCACAM has included in its plans, 80 out of 100 metric tons will sent to that market.  

Coarse fishing in 2013 amounted to 5, 227 metric tons, a figure not seen since 2000.

Cuba expects to catch this year slightly over 25,000 metric tons of aquiculture species, 18 percent of them in Camagüey province and 15 percent in Sancti Spíritus. (AIN/Radio Cadena Agramonte)


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RESEARCH ARTICLE: Movement Patterns of Juvenile Whale Sharks Tagged at an Aggregation Site in the Red Sea

RESEARCH ARTICLE: Movement Patterns of Juvenile Whale Sharks Tagged at an Aggregation Site in the Red Sea | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |



Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns.


Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009–2011.


Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5–7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1:1.


All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years.


Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m.


The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged.


The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.



AuthorsMichael L. Berumen mail, Camrin D. Braun, Jesse E. M. Cochran, Gregory B. Skomal, Simon R. Thorrold.


Published: July 30, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103536


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ΕΥΡΩΠΑΪΚΗ ΕΝΩΣΗ: Η Επίτροπος Μαρία Δαμανάκη αναλαμβάνει την πρωτοβουλία να αναζωογονήσει το «Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος»

ΕΥΡΩΠΑΪΚΗ ΕΝΩΣΗ: Η Επίτροπος Μαρία Δαμανάκη αναλαμβάνει την πρωτοβουλία να αναζωογονήσει το «Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος» | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

«Το “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” είναι η μεγαλύτερη προστατευόμενη περιοχή της Μεσογείου» δήλωσε η Επίτροπος Μαρία Δαμανάκη «και έχει μεγάλες δυνατότητες ως παράδειγμα βέλτιστης πρακτικής για το πως η βιώσιμη γαλάζια ανάπτυξη μπορεί να λειτουργήσει σε πολυσύχναστες και πυκνοκατοικημένες περιοχές, με ταυτόχρονη προστασία της θαλάσσιας ζωής, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των ψαριών. Πρέπει να συζητήσουμε το πώς η Κοινή Αλιευτική Πολιτική και η Ολοκληρωμένη Θαλάσσια Πολιτική της ΕΕ μπορούν να εξασφαλίσουν την λειτουργικότητα του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” και να υποστηρίξουν την γαλάζια ανάπτυξη στην περιοχή. Σκοπεύω να εργαστώ προς αυτήν την κατεύθυνση κατά τις επόμενες εβδομάδες, μαζί με τις τρεις βασικές χώρες του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος”, καθώς και με τους φορείς της περιοχής.»

Η Επίτροπος Μαρία Δαμανάκη έχει αναλάβει την πρωτοβουλία να αναζωογονήσει το “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” και προσπάθησε να φέρει σε επαφή την Γαλλία, την Ιταλία και το Πριγκιπάτο του Μονακό, τις τρείς βασικές χώρες του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” και τους φορείς, για να συζητήσουν πώς τα εργαλεία πολιτικής της ΕΕ, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της δυνατότητας οικονομικής στήριξης από το Ευρωπαϊκό Ταμείο Θάλασσας και Αλιείας (ΕΤΘΑ), μπορούν να χρησιμοποιηθούν για να διευκολύνουν τέτοιες πολιτικές. Στόχος του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” είναι η προστασία και διατήρηση των πληθυσμών θαλάσσιων θηλαστικών στη Μεσόγειο.


Η Γαλλία, η Ιταλία και το Πριγκιπάτο του Μονακό υπέγραψαν το 1999 τριμερή συμφωνία για την ίδρυση του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος”. Η συμφωνία τέθηκε σε ισχύ το 2002 και η προστατευόμενη περιοχή, κυρίως σε διεθνή ύδατα, αναγνωρίστηκε ως Ειδικά Προστατευόμενη Περιοχή της Μεσογείου (SPAMI) στο πλαίσιο της Σύμβασης της Βαρκελώνης. Η Γενική Επιτροπή Αλιείας για τη Μεσόγειο (GFCM) επίσης υπογράμμισε το ενδιαφέρον για τον καθορισμό του “Καταφύγιο Πέλαγος” ως πειραματικής ζώνης στην οικοσυστημική προσέγγιση της διαχείρισης της Αλιείας.

Από τότε η διακυβέρνηση των θαλάσσιων υδάτων έχει εξελιχθεί και τώρα, μετά την κήρυξη της Αποκλειστικής Οικονομικής Ζώνης και της Ζώνης Προστασίας του Περιβάλλοντος από τη Γαλλία και την Ιταλία, το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της περιοχής βρίσκεται σε θαλάσσια ύδατα της ΕΕ.

Το “Pelagos Sanctuary” θα μπορούσε να γίνει μία περίπτωση μελέτης για την εφαρμογή, για παράδειγμα, της στρατηγικής της ΕΕ σχετικά με την Οδηγία για τον Θαλάσσιο Χωροταξικό Σχεδιασμό, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του παράκτιου και θαλάσσιου τουρισμού, καθώς και την προσέγγιση με βάση την οικοσυστημική διαχείριση της Αλιείας.

Για προβολή της προστατευόμενης περιοχής, δείτε τον Ευρωπαϊκό Άτλαντα των Θαλασσών:;p=w;pos=9.392:42.546:7;bkgd=6:0.45;gra=0;mode=1;theme=120:1:1:0,%20%2073:1:1:0,80:1:1:0;time=2013;


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SPAIN: Balearic Sea becomes key to predict bluefin tuna population dynamics

SPAIN: Balearic Sea becomes key to predict bluefin tuna population dynamics | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

A team of researchers and technicians of the Balearic Oceanographic Centres and Malaga of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has just finished a new study of the Balearic Sea, one of the main spawning areas for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) worldwide.


The research, conducted during June and early July as part of the annual survey of the project 'Sustainable use of marine living resources: the impact of the variability of the Mediterranean on bluefin tuna reproduction and population dynamics' (BlueFin) was conducted in collaboration with the Coastal Observation System of the Balearic Islands (SOCIB).


On board the research vessel Socib, researchers followed bluefin tuna spawning stains and studied the physico-chemical and biological conditions of the water.


The purpose of these studies is to predict the spawning area and tuna larval survival, and obtain oceanographic and bluefin tuna larval abundance of red for the development of larval rates in the adult population.


Larval indices make it possible to relatively estimate the stock evolution of this species.


"The identification of larval habitats and spawning areas will serve to validate predictive models used for advice on the management of this species," the IEO stated.


In this year's survey a novelty is highlighted: having multiple sources of information from operational oceanography reporting on environmental conditions in the tuna migration area (Alboran-Balearic Sea), beyond the sampling area where data are obtained in situ by using oceanographic rosettes.


The implementation of satellite data and the large number of drifters from Alborex experiment -- in the framework of Perseus project -- makes it possible to identify the actual flow of Atlantic water masses from their entry in Gibraltar.


A part of these waters arrived at the Balearic Sea through two ways: directly from the Alboran Sea through filaments derived from the main stream that runs along the African coast, or by turns from that stream on the coasts of eastern Algeria, which subsequently have moved northward reaching the Levantine area of the Balearic Sea.


The BlueFin project, which grew out of a specific cooperation agreement between the IEO and SOCIB, will run until the end of this year. Its main objective is to develop operational models for forecasting the location of the tuna breeding area and estimates the level of the resource recruitment taking into account variations in larval survival rates resulting from changes in environmental scenarios in them.


This project also involved researchers from the Department of Marine Technology, Operational Oceanography and Sustainability (TMOOS) of the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA).


Related article:

- Bluefin tuna spawning could be delayed:

By Analia Murias

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MAGAZINE: Texas Fish & Game - August 2014

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ICELAND: Fish catch in June has increased between years

ICELAND: Fish catch in June has increased between years | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

The total catch of Icelandic vessels was 40% higher in June 2014 than in June 2013. Most of the demersal catches increased as well as landing of Blue whiting.


When 12 month periods are compared between years we see a 21.2% decrease in catch between July 2013 and June 2014 when compared to the same period one year earlier. For the same 12 month periods there was a decrease of 3.4% in fish catch at constant price when compared to the same period one year earlier.

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AUSTRALIA: Seafloor still pristine after years of commercial fishing

AUSTRALIA: Seafloor still pristine after years of commercial fishing | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

The Australia Antarctic Division has developed a new system of deep sea cameras to explore the impact of commercial fishing on biodiversity.


They spent eight years studying the seafloor in the Heard Island and McDonald Island Marine Reserve in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean, south-west of Australia.


Scientists found it in an almost completely pristine condition.

The cameras show 98 per cent of sensitive seafloor biodiversity remains pristine after 16 years of commercial fishing.


Researchers developed the study to investigate the potential impacts of trawling and longlining for Patagonian toothfish in the Australian Fishing Zone.


Dr Dirk Welsford from the Australian Antarctic Division said the technology was based on adapted security cameras.


"The challenges were coming up with a camera that's lightweight enough that it wouldn't affect the behaviour of the fishing gear because we were using it on commercial fishing boats, we couldn't afford to send a research vessel down," he said.


"We had to come up with a system that was light, and compact and hardy enough to be used during normal fishing operations and was cheap enough that if we lost it, it didn't matter."


Scientists believe the risk of fishing in the area is relatively low but recommend similar studies be carried out regularly.


Dr Welsford said government regulation had played a key role in protecting the area.


"The locations where the fishing occurs are quite restricted in space. The places where they can target Patagonian toothfish are quite small," he said.


"There's not a lot of corals or sponges or things like that growing where the longlines are set."


Dr Welsford said he would like to see the technology used in this study used more broadly, particularly by commercial fishers.


"I think it would be really good in future if fishing vessels more routinely mounted cameras on their fishing gear because not only can you see what they're doing to the seafloor but you can also see how the fish are behaving."


SA Scuba Shack's curator insight, July 29, 8:58 AM

Glad to see some positive news of areas in the world that are still 'pristine'.

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CHINA: Keeps fishing fleet connected and protected in disputed waters

CHINA: Keeps fishing fleet connected and protected in disputed waters | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |

TANMEN, July 28 ― On China's southern Hainan island, a fishing boat captain shows a Reuters reporter around his ageing vessel. He has one high-tech piece of kit, however: a satellite navigation system that gives him a direct link to the Chinese coastguard should he run into bad weather or a Philippine or Vietnamese patrol ship when he's fishing in the disputed South China Sea.


By the end of last year, China's homegrown Beidou satellite system had been installed on more than 50,000 Chinese fishing boats, according to official media. On Hainan, China's gateway to the South China Sea, boat captains have paid no more than 10 per cent of the cost. The government has paid the rest.


It's a sign of China's growing financial support for its fishermen as they head deeper into Southeast Asian waters in search of new fishing grounds as stocks thin out closer to home.


Hainan authorities encourage fishermen to sail to disputed areas, the captain and several other fishermen told Reuters during interviews in the sleepy port of Tanmen. Government fuel subsidies make the trips possible, they added.


That has put Chinese fishing boats ― from privately owned craft to commercial trawlers belonging to publicly listed companies ― on the frontlines of one of Asia's flashpoints.


Most recently, they were a fixture around a Chinese oil rig positioned in disputed waters off Vietnam, where they jostled and collided with Vietnamese fishing boats for more than two months until China withdrew the drilling platform in mid-July.


Explanations for China's assertiveness in the South China Sea usually focus on the strategic significance of the waterway, through which US$5 trillion (RM15.9 trillion) in ship-borne trade passes each year, or Beijing's goal to increase its offshore oil and gas output.


Rarely mentioned is the importance of seafood to the Chinese diet, several experts said. A 2014 report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), for example, said China's per-capita fish consumption was 35.1 kg in 2010, nearly double the global average of 18.9 kg.


“Fish products are just so critical to China's way of life. I think this is something most people haven't factored into the equation when they've looked at these conflicts and disputes,” said Alan Dupont, a professor of international security at the University of New South Wales in Australia.


“It's pretty clear that the Chinese fishing fleet is being encouraged to fish in disputed waters. I think that's now become policy as distinct from an opportunistic thing, and that the government is encouraging its fishing fleet to do this for geopolitical as well as economic and commercial reasons.”



Distress signal


With 16 Chinese satellites in orbit above the Asia-Pacific at the end of 2012 and more planned, the 19-month-old Beidou system is a rival to the dominant US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia's GLONASS. China's military is already a big user of Beidou, or Big Dipper.


It's unclear how often Chinese fishermen use Beidou to seek help. None of the fishermen Reuters interviewed in Tanmen said they had sent a distress call.


But fishermen could use the system to alert authorities if they had mechanical trouble or had a run-in with foreign maritime agencies, Chinese official media has said.


The push of an emergency button sends a message straight to the Chinese authorities, which because Beidou actively transmits location data, could pinpoint the exact whereabouts of a vessel.


Beidou's unique short messaging system also allows users to communicate with other fishermen, family or friends.


When Philippine authorities boarded a Chinese fishing vessel in May in a contested reef in the Spratlys, one of the region's main island chains, they quickly turned off the Beidou system, China's official Xinhua news agency said at the time.


A senior Philippine police official disputed that report, saying the boat had no satellite tracking device. Nine Chinese fishermen from the boat are awaiting trial in the Philippines for catching endangered turtles.


Zhang Jie, deputy director of the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration, a government agency, said he did not have accurate information on Beidou usage but added that fishermen were encouraged to fish in any waters that belonged to China.


At the same time, Zhang told Reuters he did not believe the government wanted them to seek conflict with other countries.


Other authorities in Hainan, such as the provincial fisheries office and the bureau which enforces fishing regulations, did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did the China Satellite Navigation Office, which runs Beidou.


The Foreign Ministry along with the State Oceanic Administration, which has overall civilian responsibility for maritime affairs including the coastguard and fishing vessels, also did not respond to requests for comment.


Xi backs fishermen


Since President Xi Jinping took power in March last year, Beijing has increasingly flexed its muscles in the South China Sea. China claims 90 per cent of the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) waterway, with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claiming parts of the ocean.


China sent its sole aircraft carrier through the South China Sea for the first time in late 2013 while its coastguard has sought to block the Philippine navy from re-supplying a military outpost on a reef claimed by Manila in the Spratlys.


While some of China's actions have alarmed other claimants and drawn criticism from Washington, such as the placement of the oil rig off Vietnam, China says it has every right to conduct what it calls normal operations in its waters.


Only weeks after becoming president, Xi made what state media called a surprise visit to Tanmen, where he told fishermen the government would do more to protect them when they were in disputed waters.


Xi never elaborated, but a huge billboard near the port commemorates his visit, showing a picture of the president flanked by grinning fishermen with trawlers in the background.


Several fishermen from separate boats said the Hainan authorities encouraged fishing as far away as the Spratlys, roughly 1,100 km (670 miles) to the south.


The boat captain said he would head there as soon as his vessel underwent routine repairs.


“I've been there many times,” said the captain, who like the other fishermen declined to be identified because he was worried about repercussions for discussing sensitive maritime issues with a foreign journalist.


Another fisherman, relaxing in a hammock on a boat loaded with giant clam shells from the Spratlys, said captains received fuel subsidies for each journey. For a 500 horsepower engine, a captain could get 2,000-3,000 yuan (RM1,028-1,5420) a day, he said.


“The government tells us where to go and they pay fuel subsidies based on the engine size,” said the fisherman.


Added one weather-beaten captain: “The authorities support fishing in the South China Sea to protect China's sovereignty.”


To be sure, they have other reasons to make the journey. A study by the State Oceanic Administration said in October 2012 that fish stocks along the Chinese coast were in decline.


“Right now I would say competition for fishing resources is the main cause of tensions between China and regional countries," said Zhang Hongzhou, associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at nanyang technological university in singapore.


David versus Goliath


At least one big Chinese fishing company is also flying the flag in disputed waters and benefiting from government assistance.


In late February, Shanghai-listed Shandong Homey Aquatic Development Co Ltd, which has annual seafood sales of US$150 million, announced the launch of eight new 55-metre long (180-ft) trawlers from the port city of Dongfang on Hainan.


On its website, it said the move was a "response to the government's call to develop the South China Sea and safeguard national sovereignty".


Six weeks later, the Dongfang city government said Shandong Homey would get two million yuan for each boat in “renovation” grants, according to its website. Dongfang officials declined to comment.


Shandong Homey might need the money for repairs.


In late May, Vietnam's government accused a Chinese trawler of ramming and sinking a small Vietnamese wooden fishing boat near the Chinese oil rig in an incident captured on video. China said the Vietnamese boat was being aggressive.


While footage of the May 26 incident is too blurry for the naked eye to determine the number on the Chinese ship's hull, Vietnam's coastguard said it was #11209.


Dang Van Nhan, 42, the captain of the sunken boat and who was rescued along with nine crew, told Reuters during an interview in the coastal Vietnamese city of Danang that it was #11202, saying he got a clear look.


The Dongfang city government website lists vessels #11209 and #11202 and six others as Shandong Homey's eight new boats.


In the Dongfang harbour, several Shandong Homey boats lay anchored including vessels #11209 and #11202. Both have the same features as the trawler in the video.


Shandong Homey declined telephone and email requests to comment. One crew member at the port said the fleet returned to Dongfang in early June but then refused to say anything more.


Several Shandong Homey employees later surrounded a Reuters reporter and demanded to know why he was asking about the boats. They then turned him over to police, who briefly detained him. ― Reuters



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PUBLICATION: The European Union explained Maritime affairs and fisheries

PUBLICATION: The European Union explained Maritime affairs and fisheries | Aquaculture and Fisheries - World Briefing |
Safeguarding the future of our seas, generating new prosperity


Seas and oceans are essential to human life in more ways than one. They regulate our climate and through the centuries have given us food, transport and recreation. Now, thanks to technological progress, they can also give us pharmaceuticals, minerals and possibly infinite energy — as long as our exploitation is responsible, our methods are safe and our trading is cautious and fair. Equally crucial is the economic value of the sea in our society.


The European Commission works to ensure that our exploitation remains rigorously sustainable and the rich maritime heritage of Europe grows nonetheless. The premise is that the two — environmental protection and economic growth — are intertwined and interdependent rather than opposed. This publication is a part of a series that explains what the EU does in different policy areas, why the EU is involved and what the results are...




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