ROFFS™ Fishy Times Newsletter – 46th Edition: Fisheries Body Raises Bluefin Quota, Birdseye View of Coastal Erosion & Biodegradable Fishing Nets

ROFFS™ Fishy Times Newsletter – 46th Edition – Fisheries Body Raises Bluefin Quota, Bird’s Eye View of Coastal Erosion & Biodegradable Fishing Nets


Fisheries Body Raises Quota on Endangered Bluefin

Article re-posted from Miami Herald November 17, 2014 (Article by: Colleen Barry AP | Photo credit:

A multi-nation fisheries body on Monday raised the quotas for endangered Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to the dismay of conservationists, who said the move puts early signs of population recovery at risk.

Next year’s quota for Bluefin tuna off the United States, Canada and Mexico was raised by 14 percent to 2,000 metric tons by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas at the end of an eight-day meeting in the Italian port city of Genoa. It raised the quota for the larger population of Mediterranean Bluefin tuna by 20 percent to 15,821 metric tons next year, with additional 20 percent increases each of the following two years.

The fisheries body’s scientific committee said “gradual and moderate” increases in the catch would not jeopardize the stock health. But the Pew Charitable Trusts said the western Bluefin tuna population off the U.S., Canadian and Mexican coasts “remains severely depleted,” 15 years into a 20-year rebuild, and that scientific assessments indicate the increased catches could reverse the recovery trend.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for more on the raising of the bluefin tuna quota on our website now…

Above: Bluefin tuna swimming.  Photo credit:

Choosing Extinction – the Hawaiian Monk Seal

Article re-posted from Alert Diver Online (article by: Doug Perrine | Photos credit: Doug Perrine)More than 20 million years ago, a weasel-like progenitor to today’s monk seals foraged in Canada’s lakes. By 15 million years ago, the animal’s descendants had evolved into seals similar to present-day monk seals. By 8 million years ago, monk seals had spread to both sides of the North Atlantic and to the eastern-central Pacific. When the Isthmus of Panama separated the two oceans about 3 to 4 million years ago, the species diverged into the Caribbean monk seal on one side of the continent and the Hawaiian monk seal on the other, while seals in the eastern Atlantic region evolved to become the Mediterranean monk seal.

At that time, the lower five of the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) had not yet emerged from the sea, so monk seals inhabited what is now known as Kauai and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), stretching out past Midway to Kure, colonizing new islands as they appeared. Hawaiian monk seals had no terrestrial enemies until humans arrived in the MHI around 1,000 years ago. It is believed that within a century Polynesian settlers and their dogs had all but extirpated the seals from the MHI.

Today the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the Hawaiian monk seal as critically endangered, but some islanders are protesting recovery plans proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Above: This young female monk seal became a public safety hazard and had to be removed from the MHI population after being illegally fed by humans. Photo Credit – Doug Perrine.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to read more on the Hawaiian Monk Seal on our website now…

A Bird’s Eye View of Coastal Erosion

Article re-posted from National Wildlife Foundation November 14, 2014 (article by: Kelly Wagner | Photos credit: kdw/NWF)Each day I pass an egret on the way to work that lingers in the watery ditches in my town. It amuses me that this elegant bird seems to give little concern to the cars that are passing within ten feet of it. It doesn’t know that I am heading to NWF’s New Orleans field office that has one focus—to restore its wetlands habitat in the Mississippi River Delta before the wetlands disappear. Recently, I got to see the devastating wetland loss from the egret’s perspective.

The Mississippi River Delta, where the mighty Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, supports more than 400 species of birds. For millions of birds, the delta’s food-rich habitats are critical stopping places before their grueling nonstop flight across the Gulf. But human activities have disrupted the natural balance of the wetlands in the delta and they are receding at alarming rates—nearly a football field of wetlands disappears every hour.

Last week, we took local officials up in a flight provided by to get an aerial view of how quickly the Gulf is encroaching inland. It was an eye-opening experience that only pictures can convey.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to read more about the bird’s eye view of coastal erosion on our website now…

Above: photo credit – kdw/NWF

South Florida Researchers Given $37.5 Million to Do Research on Impact of 2011 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Article re-posted from Miami Herald November 18, 2014 (article by: Jenny Staletovich)

Two South Florida universities recently received a huge amount of $37.5 million to do extensive research on the environmental impact of the 2011 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

This event heavily affected the Gulf of Mexico as it spewed 250 million gallons of crude oil into the sea, killing 11 workers, and created such environmental havoc that, to this day, remains a huge concern for scientists and environmentalists.

The two universities which will get the research awards are the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science receiving $29 million, and the Nova Southeastern University with $8.5 million. These are the commitments given by BP, the company responsible for the oil spill. This is part of a $500 million independent research program, spread over 10 years, which started a month after the oil spill happened.

Just last week, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, through its 20-member board, provided an initial fund of  $140 million to 12 research teams, one of which was coming from the University of Florida.

“This is not just an academic thing,” said UM engineer Tamay Özgökmen. “We are trying to bridge science and academia with application.”  Özgökmen is one member of a 40-man team of scientists who won $20 million to study how oil spreads dangerously across the ocean.

As a consequence of the spill, oil damaged the hearts of tuna and affected heavily the swimming patterns and behaviour of mahi-mahi, as pointed out in a study earlier published this year by UM marine biologist Martin Grosell. Supported by this research, he received another $9 million from BP.

Please click HERE for MORE on the recent award to South Florida researchers on our website now…

Above: hard hat found at the BP Oil Spill in Louisiana – Photo credit: Reuters.

Biodegradable Fishing Nets Could Prevent Sea Mammal Deaths

Article re-posted from DeZeen Magazine November 16, 2014 (Article by: Alejandro Plasencia | Photos by: Alejandro Plasencia)

Engineering student Alejandro Plasencia has created biodegradable fishing nets and tracking tags for fishermen to help stop aquatic mammals getting trapped in lost trawling equipment.

Above: Alejandro Plasencia’s Remora system includes a biodegradable net, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, an RFID reader and an app.

Please click HERE for MORE on the use of biodegradable fishing nets on our website now…

If you do not want to wait for our next Fishy Times newsletter, please visit us in the meantime to get all your fishing news on FacebookTwitterYouTube and on the web.  Safe and successful fishing until next time!

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