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News articles on Fish

Mongabay.com news articles on Fish in blog format. Updated regularly.









One-third of global marine catch used as livestock feed

(10/30/2008) Despite continuous warnings of emptying oceans due to overfishing, a new report finds that one-third of the world’s total marine catch is not feeding humans, but livestock. The fish are ground-up into meal and fed to pigs, poultry, and even farm-raised fish.


U.S. pledges $40M toward coral reef conservation.

(10/22/2008) The U.S. government has pledged almost $40 million to protect biologically-rich coral reefs in Southeast Asia, according to the U.S. embassy in the Philippines.


Argentina bans fishing, trawling in eco-rich area

(10/09/2008) The government of Argentina has banned commercial fishing along Burdwood Bank, an 1,800 square kilometer (694 square mile) submerged island off its southern coast, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).


Mediterranean bluefin tuna originate in the Gulf of Mexico

(10/02/2008) Researchers have discovered a previously unknown migratory route for the northern bluefin tuna, proving for the first time that the species' Mediterranean and North American subpopulations interact. According to the paper published in Science the two groups meet as juveniles then return to their birthplace to spawn. For a critically-endangered species that is still heavily fished, the new finding has large conservation and management implications.


12 fish species go extinct in lake near Istanbul

(09/24/2008) Turkey has lost twelve species of fish to pollution in Lake Sapanca. Lake Sapanca used to be one of Turkey's most bio-diverse lakes. A decade ago the lake's water was pristine enough to be pumped directly to Istanbul for citizen use, but due to rising pollution it no longer serves as a source for the city water.


100 new species of sharks and rays discovered in Australia

(09/19/2008) Scientists have described 100 new species of sharks and rays in the seas around Australia.


A solution to worldwide fishery collapse?

(09/18/2008) In November 2006 a study on global fisheries received a lot of attention: employing 53 years worth of fishery data, Boris Worm predicted that by 2048 the ocean would be empty of fish. Essentially there would be nothing left to catch. Already, Worm reported, fishing stocks had collapsed in 29 percent of the world's fisheries. Although scientists called for rapid and overhauling changes to fisheries, the fishing industry carried on business-as-usual. Now, two years later, a study in Science proposes to have found the solution to the global fishery-collapse.


Nearly 40 percent of America’s freshwater fish in danger

(09/10/2008) The most comprehensive study of America’s freshwater fish in twenty years has revealed that nearly 40 percent are threatened with extinction.


Small-scale fisheries are "best hope" for sustainability in developing world

(09/08/2008) Fish stocks are declining globally. While the consumer in the industrial world has yet to feel the full impact of this decline, those in the developing world know it well. Local small-scale fishermen are catching less fish to feed growing populations. Jennifer Jacquet of the Sea Around Us Project believes the hope for sustainable seafood lies in these very fisheries.


Nobu offers critically-endangered species to sushi diners

(09/08/2008) Nobu, a pricey and trendy sushi restaurant with locations around the world, regularly serves critically-endangered Northern bluefin tuna to its clientele, reveals an investigation by the environmental group Greenpeace.


When in season, wolves choose salmon over deer

(09/02/2008) The popular image of hunting wolves is a pack bearing down on a deer, working in concert to make the kill. However, new research has discovered that when available, wolves largely forgo hoofed mammals for salmon.


Carbon market may fund dam in Panama that threatens natural reserve

(09/01/2008) The UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) — a scheme that provides funds to projects that reduce emissions in developing nations — may be used to finance a hydroelectric dam in Panama which, according to environmentalists, threatens a biologically rich World Heritage site and an indigenous tribe, the Ngobe.


Baltic cod are shrinking due to overfishing

(08/26/2008) By comparing Neolithic cod with contemporary cod, researchers have discovered that the species has evolved over a relatively short period due to overexploitation by humans. According to a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, contemporary cod attain adulthood earlier and are generally smaller than their ancestors.


DNA study reveals new 1,000-pound grouper species

(08/21/2008) DNA analysis has revealed that a 1,000-pound grouper found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is actually two different species.


Coal burning may make food supplies toxic

(08/18/2008) Coal burning is contaminating the Arctic, and may be affecting human health and polar ecosystems, warn scientists writing in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The long-ignored ocean emergency and what can be done to address it

(08/18/2008) This year has been full of bad news regarding marine ecosystems: one-third of coral species threatened with extinction, dead-zones spread to 415 sites, half of U.S. reefs in fair or bad condition, increase in ocean acidification, tuna and shark populations collapsing, and only four percent of ocean considered pristine. Jeremy Jackson, director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of California, San Diego, synthesizes such reports and others into a new paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that boldly lays out the scope of the oceanic emergency and what urgently needs to be done.


How sustainable is your canned tuna? It depends on the retailer

(08/13/2008) To aid concerned tuna-lovers, Greenpeace has ranked eight of the top canned tuna retailers in order from most sustainable to least. Canned tuna from John West, the biggest retailer of tuna in the UK, proves to be the worst of the lot, whereas Sainsbury's is the most environmentally-friendly. In a press release Greenpeace said that Sainsbury's is "the only tinned tuna brand that is fished using sustainable methods".


Chevron lobbies Bush Administration for bail out on lawsuit by Amazon tribes

(07/31/2008) Lobbyists for big oil are working feverishly to persuade the Bush Administration and Congress to let Chevron off the hook for a potential $16 billion liability in an environmental lawsuit.


The end of migrations: wildlife's greatest spectacle is critically endangered

(07/28/2008) If we could turn back the clock about 200 years, one could watch as millions of whales swam along their migration routes. Around 150 years ago, one could witness bison filling the vast America prairie or a billion passenger pigeons blotting out the sky for days. Only a few decades back and a million saiga antelope could be seen crossing the plains of Asia.


Monster manta ray species discovered

(07/25/2008) Researchers have discovered a previously unknown species of manta ray. Previously there was believed to be only a single species of ray but genetic analysis now shows there are at least two, and possibly three, species.


Mangroves are key to healthy fisheries, finds study

(07/21/2008) Mangroves serve as a critical nursery for young marine life and therefore play an important role in the health of fisheries and the economic well-being of fishermen, report researchers writing in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Marine no-take zones are succeeding beyond expectations

(07/16/2008) Two recent reports show that marine no-take zones, where fishing is completely prohibited, are helping to rejuvenate commercial species faster than expected.


The global rich are eating the poor's fish: new report shows tropical fish catch gravely under-estimated

(07/10/2008) After a week of bad news regarding marine life — it was reported that half of U.S. coral reefs are in fair to poor condition and one-third of all coral species are threatened globally — there is still more: a study of twenty tropical islands showed that recreational and subsistence fishing has gone almost completely unreported from 1950 to 2004. In fifteen of twenty cases the fish take was at least doubled when local fish catches were added, and in the most extreme case, American Samoa, the amount of fish collected was 17 times what was previously recorded.


Census of marine life opens with 122,000 species

(07/01/2008) Discovering a new species can be the highlight of a biologist's career. Yet once a species enters the formal literature, complications may develop. The systen has been especially problematic because for centuries biologists have lacked the tools to construct a full and flexible list of the world's innumerable species. Using the Internet and hundreds of scientists around the world, the Census of Marine Life is attempting to take on this monumental task.


Large shark populations fall 97% in the Mediterranean

(06/12/2008) Populations of some shark species in the Mediterranean have plunged by more than 97 percent over the past 200 years, report researchers writing in the journal conservation Biology. Several species are at risk of extinction.


Dried-up Colorado takes toll on giant Mexican fish

(06/08/2008) The Colorado River vanishes before it reaches the Sea of Cortez in all but the wettest years. Companies in California and the southwestern U.S. have diverted its once-vibrant flow to quench their thirst for water and power. Now, a new study in the April 2008 issue of the journal Biological conservation reports that the dwindling of this major artery has changed the way some marine fish in the Gulf of California grow and develop.


Diversity in streams may brace Chinook salmon for climate change

(06/03/2008) Chinook salmon face a one-two punch. They have disappeared from several rivers in the western U.S. largely because of human interventions and some populations are threatened or endangered. Numbers of Chinook in California's Central Valley have dwindled by 88 percent in the past five years, a loss that closed fisheries for 2008 and may cost California's economy $167 million, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. On top of all this looms a second impact: These salmon will be in hotter water still because of climate change.


Greenpeace ship attacked by Turkish tuna fishermen during protest

(05/30/2008) Members of a Turkish tuna fishing boat attacked the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise while the ship was engaged in a protest against overfishing. The incident occurred Friday in the Cypriot Channel and was reported to the Turkish Iskenderun Gulf Port Authorities.


Global warming to worsen ocean dead zones, hurt fisheries

(05/01/2008) Warming oceans will worsen oxygen-deficient or hypoxic dead zones, affecting ecosystems and fisheries, warn researchers writing in the journal Science.


Shark-repelling fishing gear in the works

(04/23/2008) Fishing gear that produces an electric field in sea water could help prevent sharks from becoming accidental bycatch, say scientists at NOAA.


Global warming could trigger dramatic Lake Tahoe changes within 10 years

(03/24/2008) Warming temperatures may cloud Lake Tahoe's legendary clear waters and put the lake's native species at risk, reports a new study from the University of California, Davis.


Feds flood the Grand Canyon to save endangered fish

(03/05/2008) Federal government officials unleashed a flood of water from Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona to help restore the Grand Canyon's ecosystem which has suffered as a result of changes caused by the dam.


New 'red list' seeks to stave off global seafood collapse

(03/03/2008) Over-fishing and destructive fishing practices have had a considerable effect on oceanic ecosystems. In 2006 a highly-reported study found that without drastic measures all wild seafood will disappear from the oceans in 50 years. Greenpeace, working against such a crash, has started a campaign that highlights 'red fish'. The twenty-two 'red' species are seafood that consumers and suppliers (including supermarkets) should avoid due to their plummeting populations and/or the damage caused by harvesting them.


Widespread butterflyfish may go extinct due to global warming, pollution

(02/24/2008) The Chevroned Butterflyfish, a colorful fish found in tropical oceans around the world, faces extinction due to overexploitation, pollution and climate change, report researchers writing in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. Despite its widespread distribution, the species could be doomed by its specialized feeding habitats: the Chevroned Butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifascialis) feeds on only one type of coral.


Photos of bizarre creatures discovered in Antarctica

(02/19/2008) Researchers aboard the Aurora Australis, an Australian vessel, have discovered a trove of strange creatures on the sea floor near East Antarctica.


Tuna may go the way of cod: a collapsed fishery

(02/18/2008) The collapse of the cod fishery could provide important lessons to prevent a similar fate for some tuna populations, say researchers presenting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston on February 18.


Mysteries of the Great White Shark unveiled

(02/17/2008) The Great White Shark has always been a creature of mystery. The world's largest shark has long fascinated humanity from the novel and film Jaws to recent sumptuous footage of the sharks catching sea lions in Planet Earth. The behemoth, who at times can reach seven meters in length, has also become famous for occasionally attacking swimmers and surfers, though scientists believe the sharks do not intentionally hunt humans. However, the great predator's behvaior and lifecycle remains mostly mysterious to science. Some of these mysteries are just now being unraveled thanks to the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program.


Digital maps and mathematical analysis could reduce fishing bycatch

(02/16/2008) Images of dolphins and turtles ensnared in tuna nets are a heart-wrenching reminder of the impact of fisheries on ocean bio-diversity. Known in fisheries science as ‘by-catch,' this killing of non-target species is a complex problem that has resisted easy answers.


Ocean trawling impacts can be seen from space

(02/16/2008) Bottom trawling, an industrial fishing method that drags large, heavy nets across the seafloor stirs up huge, billowing plumes of sediment on shallow seafloors that can be seen from space.


Overfishing may hurt Amazon forest trees

(02/05/2008) Overfishing is reducing the effectiveness of seed dispersal by fish in the Brazilian Pantanal, reports Nature. The research suggests that fishing practices can affect forest health.


Global warming will diminish fish catch in the Bering sea

(01/16/2008) One half of the fish caught in the U.S. annually--and almost a third worldwide--come from the Bering Sea. Yet, this vast resource is increasingly threatened by climate change. A recent study, published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, showed that global warming will greatly affect the Bering Sea's phytoplankton, the cornerstone of the sea's rich ecosystem.


Fish farms are killing wild salmon in British Columbia

(12/13/2007) Parasitic sea lice infestations caused by salmon farms are driving nearby populations of wild salmon toward extinction, reports a study published in the December 14 issue of the journal Science.


Piranhas originated when Amazon was flooded by seawater

(12/04/2007) South America's piranha family of fish -- notorious as eaters of flesh -- can be traced back to a single ancestor which dispersed when the Amazon was flooded by seawater some five million years ago, report researchers from the Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement (IRD). Today piranhas are exclusively freshwater fish found from the Orinoco River basin in Venezuela to the Paraná in Argentina.


Scientists find fish that literally lives in trees

(10/17/2007) Scientists have found a fish that literally lives in trees, according to research published in The American Naturalist and highlighted in New Scientist Magazine.


World's first sustainable tuna fishery certified

(09/09/2007) The world's first certified sustainable tuna fishery was announced today, a move that could help save one of the world's most valuable fish -- and the fishing industry that relies on it -- from extinction.


Overfishing takes toll on Bluefin tuna

(08/06/2007) Overfishing has caused dramatic shifts in bluefin tuna populations that have pushed the species closer towards extinction in some areas, reports a series of studies by the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and other researchers.


Jumbo squid invade California waters, affecting fish populations

(07/25/2007) Jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) are invading California waters, putting commercial fish populations at risk, reports a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


In Alaska, fishing industry drives marine conservation

(07/24/2007) Alaska's fisheries are some of the richest in the world, with fishermen harvesting hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of salmon, crab, herring, halibut, pollock, and groundfish every year. However, such bounty has not always been the case. Over-exploitation and poor fisheries management in the 1940s and 1950s took a heavy toll on the industry. Born of this difficult origin, today Alaska sets the bar in fisheries management. Unusually for natural resource management, industry is leading the way, relying on dialog with scientists to determine catch levels and where to designate "no-fishing zones", while pushing for certification standards for sustainable seafood products. These efforts are coordinated by the Marine conservation Alliance (MCA), an industry-backed nonprofit based in Juneau, Alaska. In July 2007, David Benton, executive director of the Marine conservation Alliance, spoke with mongabay.com about MCA's work in Alaska.


Fish cultivate gardens of algae

(07/24/2007) Damselfish cultivate "gardens" of algae, according to a study published last October in the journal Biology Letters.


Fines on bycatch could help make conservation groups, industry accountable

(07/18/2007) Assessing fines on illegal bycatch could help clean up the fishing industry, reports a new study published in the August issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.



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