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Overfishing Remains Biggest Threat to Mediterranean, Study Confirms

Marine Ecologist Enric Sala says a new study produced by a dozen researchers confirms that the Mediterranean is on a trajectory to become a sea dominated by small tropical species that no one likes to eat. “Fishes will not be abundant, and the native species that the Greeks and Romans started to fish commercially will be rare — and most fisheries and the jobs they support will collapse,” he says. But this could change “if we stop all the irrational overfishing,” Sala adds, “including both legal and illegal fishing, and protect a large chunk of the Mediterranean. Without these radical changes, we’re just going to reduce the Mediterranean Sea to a soup of microbes and jellyfish.”

March 30, 2014: Skiing Everest, Search for Michael Rockefeller, Violent Animal Reproduction, and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, figure out if Mother Nature is really trying to kill you, ski off the seven summits including Everest, look inside the city of Damascus during the Syrian War, dive into Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, look at how much food we waste each year, take a walk on the surface of Mars, and find out what we should pack on a camping trip.

More, Bigger, Better Marine Conservation

Recently one of my peers referred to doing more conservation as addressing the problem of how to take marine protection to scale.  Covering nearly 70% of the planet and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, the ocean certainly represents a huge management problem. For some marine conservation funders, global scaling of marine…

Vanishing Innocents: Fish, Dolphins, and Other Sea Creatures in Troubled Waters

By Maddalena Bearzi of the Ocean Conservation Society Sardinia has a unique and unforgettable scent, different from any other place I’ve known. It’s the scent of the Mediterranean undergrowth, of junipers and myrtles. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can almost smell it even now, thousands of miles away and many years later.…

Tackling Overfishing on Many Fronts

As the World Ocean Summit winds down in Half Moon Bay, California, this evening, much discussion among the hundreds of gathered delegates has turned to overfishing.  There were perhaps as many thoughts on the subject as members in attendance from the fishing industry, academia, conservation organizations, and the media. But, several solutions emerged that received…

Shark Fishers in Madagascar Sell Fins for Pennies

As a proud new contributor to the Ocean Views blog, I’ll be bringing you stories from myself and my colleagues at Blue Ventures about marine conservation in Madagascar and Belize. This first one comes from Garth Cripps, a senior conservation scientist with Blue Ventures in Madagascar. Here Garth tells us about a series of encounters…

Who Wants to Bring Back Overfishing?

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. Reading headlines about the declining state of the world’s fisheries is enough to turn any carnivore to a steady diet of beef, pork, and chicken. But the reality is, particularly here in America, regulators and fishermen have done an admirable job ending the practice of overfishing and made…

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…

Geography in the News: Bluefin Tuna Decline

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Bluefin Tuna in Decline The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international agreement between governments, dealt a serious blow to the Atlantic bluefin tuna in March 2010. The convention voted to deny a proposed international ban on fishing and trading the…

What’s a Danajon Bank?

by Michael Ready, Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers In April 2013, after four planes, a ferry, and two outriggers, I arrived at Handumon, a remote village and field station on Jandayan Island in the Philippines. As I lay down the first night under a mosquito net, wiped out and bit disoriented,…

The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

A congressional hearing today on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act examined a new report from the National Academies on the law’s effectiveness in rebuilding depleted fish populations. As a member of the peer-review panel for the report, I can attest to the amount of work that went into this study, which clearly recognizes…

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys & Just Keep Swimming!

When most people think about ocean creatures, they picture large charismatic species like whales, penguins, polar bears, sharks and turtles. These magnificent animals are the “celebrities” of the oceans and tend to received significant public and scientific attention. In fact, they are even play starring roles in Hollywood movies, such as Happy Feet, Dolphin Tale,…

“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…

Smooth Dogfish Are Sharks, Too

Overfishing of sharks and their close relatives skates and rays across the globe has in recent decades led to sharp declines in shark numbers. Some species have been reduced by more than 80 percent. Much of that reduction is tied to the international trade in shark fins. The fins of as many as 70 million sharks end up in the coveted Asian delicacy shark fin soup each year. At the same time, some of the most heavily fished sharks and closely related skates and rays are prized primarily for their meat.

The Bottom Line: For New England’s Fishing Fleet it’s Déjà vu All Over Again

Note: This is a special post coauthored by Peter Baker and Lee Crockett As an editorial in the Boston Globe observed, things did not look good for the coming fishing season. Fishermen were “returning from three or four days’ hauling on Georges Bank with near-empty holds.” And while other regions of the country were successfully…