National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for bycatch

Streamers: A Win-Win for Seabirds and Fishermen

By Nicole Perman Until recently, it seemed as though the short-tailed albatross would not be able to escape extinction.  These endangered seabirds have been threatened first by hunting, and more recently by overfishing in the North Pacific and Bering Seas, and by their less-than-ideal primary breeding ground – a small volcanically active island called Tori-shima,…

Mexico is Saving Sharks While Australia Kills Them

There was great news out of Mexico this week when the Mexican government announced a permanent ban on fishing for great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). The measure applies to national waters on both coasts and is notable because it means that white sharks caught accidentally – bycatch – by commercial or recreational fishermen must be…

Fishermen Work to Reduce Albatross Deaths

By Susan Jackson The albatross and life at sea have been linked for centuries. But the death of an albatross means far more than bad luck for sailors.  It signifies a serious threat to the ecosystem of the world’s oceans – so much so that the organizations that manage fisheries across the globe have established…

The Bottom Line: Protecting Real Estate for Fish

For businesses dependent on high foot traffic, location is everything. It’s much the same out on the water, where finding the right spot can make all the difference for commercial and recreational fishermen alike. Advances in technology make it easier to target fish more quickly, in deeper water, and more precisely than ever before. This…

“Losing Nemo” Video Takes Aim at Overfishing–But Does it Go Too Far?

The above video is a highly produced animation that takes a shot across the bow of large fishing vessels. Capitalizing on the public’s affinity for a cuddly clownfish named Nemo from the 2003 Pixar/Disney film Finding Nemo, this six-minute clip of digital agitprop supports the advocacy group The Black Fish. The Black Fish targets the…

Solution: Escape Gaps for Fish Traps

Bycatch. That’s the fish that fishers didn’t mean to catch but did – baby fish, species people don’t like to eat, fish no one will buy. High levels of bycatch make fishing unsustainable, not to mention it’s a huge waste. So what can be done about it? Well, that depends on the type of fishing gear…

New Year’s Resolution 2012: Let’s Gain Weight in the Ocean

Note: This post is the first in a new blog series: The Bottom Line. Thanks for following along with my “Overfishing 101” series. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m kicking off 2012 with a new series, “The Bottom Line.” I’ll be covering more ground and broader fisheries-related topics and hope you’ll enjoy my…

Overfishing 101: Postcard from Pendik

Where is Pendik, you might wonder? That is exactly what I asked myself when I touched down in Turkey last week. Pendik is a bustling coastal town about an hour south from Istanbul, and it was the location of the 22nd meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). My colleagues from the Pew…

Overfishing 101: Counting Fish

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. How heavy is 35,000 metric tons? For starters, it’s the weight of 193 jumbo jets or 2,917 African elephants. It’s also the amount of Atlantic bluefin tuna that have exceeded the official catch quota in the Mediterranean Sea in the past two years alone, according to a Pew-commissioned analysis…

Overfishing 101: Getting Serious About Illegal Tuna Fishing in the Mediterranean

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. Driftnets sound relatively harmless as a fishing method. But as any marine biologist will tell you, this gear threatens ocean wildlife. At its November meeting, however, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) could take steps to enforce current international prohibitions on the usage of this damaging…

Overfishing 101: Protecting Tuna with Technology

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. Atlantic bluefin tuna are one of the most popular fish in the world. Anglers fight for them, and love to tell tales of their epic battles. Scientists are enthralled by them, making this species one of the most studied in the ocean. And sushi lovers crave bluefin for…

A Whale Shark of an Opportunity Lost in Hawaii

By Amanda Nickson and Julie Arner The whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean. A favorite of many nature lovers, a mature adult is roughly the size of a school bus – weighing more than 20 tons on average and measuring up to ten yards in length. This massive stature and the fact that…