Fisheries -Atlantic Salmon

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Have you ever eaten salmon because you have heard of it’s “many” health benefits… Like shinier hair, speedier metabolisms, improved brain function, or maybe because it’s the perfect source of lean protein? Well, at a whopping 28-30 inches long and 8-12 pounds, these gigantic and adaptable fish, the atlantic salmon, have a wide range of amazing aspects. These fish are what you would call anadromous – where they spend half their life in freshwater, and the other half in the ocean, only to return to freshwater, fighting through deadly currents, to spawn and die. The atlantic salmon, scientific name salmo salar, also called kelts, black salmon, or the red run salmon, are the only type of salmon that are native to the atlantic ocean, and can be found on the north-east coast of the United States. However, in the wild, these beautiful black-spotted silver-blue salmon are actually endangered, with the population being at a record low. The salmon that you get from your local grocery store are raised on farms because of this. Commercial fishing for the atlantic salmon is illegal due to the overfishing and habitat destruction from 1979 to 1990 in which total catches fell from 4 million to 700,000 per year. Don’t worry too much though because the fishing and farming of these beautiful animals are managed by an abundance of regulations such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. Current worldwide aquaculture production of the atlantic salmon exceeds 1,000,000 tonnes per year, account for over 50% of the total global salmon market, and are mostly farmed in Japan, the european union, and the united states. It is legal to catch retired salmon recreationally in some states through angling but because these fish near extinction in the wild, we must all work together to keep this unique species safe. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click “On the Ocean”.

Script Authors: Kalan Barnes & Patrick Chandler

salmondiagram

Figure 1: The physical characteristics for identification of the atlantic salmon.

http://www.aquaticnuisance.org/fact-sheets/atlantic-

salmon

Figure 2: From the 1970s to the 1990s and on, the wild population of atlantic salmon decreased drastically and has been struggling to grow.

http://www.asf.ca/greenland-take-was-63-of-harvest-for-salmon-returning-2014.html

Species in the Spotlight: Atlantic Salmon

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2015/12/spotlight_atlantic_salmon.html

North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

http://www.nasco.int/atlanticsalmon.html

Salmo Salar: The Atlantic Salmon

http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Salmo_salar/en

Fisheries -Swordfish

Fisheries -North Atlantic Swordfish

The North Atlantic swordfish is appropriately named for its long, sword-like bill and they are one of the fastest predators in the ocean due to its streamlined body.  Contrary to popular belief, the “sword” is not used to spear, but instead is used to slash at its prey to injure the animal, to make for an easier catch. On average, swordfish are about 10 feet in length, but can reach up to 15 feet and 1400 pounds!  Swordfish are found widely in tropical and temperate parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Swordfish are caught both commercially for their tasty meat and recreationally, as they are a challenge to catch because of their speed and agility in the water. Commercially, fishermen usually use pelagic longline gear to harvest swordfish. Recreationally, use rod-and-reel, harpoon, and buoy gear. These types of gear have no impact on the habitat because they don’t touch the ocean floor. NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division manage swordfish in the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Since the Atlantic Swordfish is a highly migratory species, they have more complicated management plans that require international cooperation. Fortunately, the management has proven to be highly effective and swordfish have not been overfished, and are not endangered.  This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Lindsay Sauer and Greg Matunas

Additional Information

swordfish

http://marinesciencetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Swordfish-and-tuna-account-for-more-than-half-of-the-mercury-intake-from-seafood-in-the-US.-Photo-credit-NOAANMFS..jpg

mapagain

Fisheries -Skipjack Tuna

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean.  Skipjack tuna are the smallest and most abundant of the major commercial tuna species.  Larger tunas such as yellowfin, Bluefin, and albacore, are being fished at or near maximum sustainable levels, and there has been a rapid acceleration in efforts to develop skipjack tuna fisheries.  They range in size from 40cm up to 110cm and can weigh as much as 76 lbs.  Skipjack tuna are found mainly in the tropical areas of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, with the greatest abundance seen near the equator.  They inhabit the surface waters in large shoals of up to 50,000 fish.  Skipjack are commercially important as the main species of canned tuna.  In the Gulf of Mexico, vessels may only fish using a general rod and reel, longline, purse seine or harpoon method.  Since juvenile yellowfin and bigeye tuna often school with adult skipjack, they are sometimes inadvertently caught by purse seine vessels that target the skipjack.  Rod and reel or fishery options are currently being promoted as ecologically preferable.  As stated by NOAA Fisheries, there are currently no catch quotas in place for the skipjack tuna.  In 2013, Skipjack tuna accounted for 68% of the total tuna catch of 2.6 million tons. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Author: Anita Boggs

tuna

Photo of a skipjack tuna shoal.

Photo credit: http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/skipjack-tuna

A net bulging with tuna and bycatch on the Ecuadorean purse seiner 'Ocean Lady', which was spotted by Greenpeace in the vicinity of the northern Galapagos Islands while using fishing aggregating devices (FADs). Around 10% of the catch generated by purse seine FAD fisheries is unwanted bycatch and includes endangered species of sharks and turtles. The catch of large amounts of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas in these fisheries is now threatening the survival of these commercially valuable species. Greenpeace is calling for a total ban on the use of fish aggregation devices in purse seining and the establishment of a global network of marine reserves LAT 04:09 NORTH / LONG 091:31 WEST

A net bulging with tuna and bycatch on the Ecuadorean purse seiner ‘Ocean Lady’, which was spotted by Greenpeace in the vicinity of the northern Galapagos Islands while using fishing aggregating devices (FADs). Around 10% of the catch generated by purse seine FAD fisheries is unwanted bycatch and includes endangered species of sharks and turtles. The catch of large amounts of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas in these fisheries is now threatening the survival of these commercially valuable species. Greenpeace is calling for a total ban on the use of fish aggregation devices in purse seining and the establishment of a global network of marine reserves
LAT 04:09 NORTH / LONG 091:31 WEST

Photo credit: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/eat-tuna-know-fish/

Fisheries -Grouper

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On The Ocean. Are you a fan of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico? Then you probably have heard of the grouper. Making for an exciting fishing experience, groupers are known for their aggressive behavior when on the other end of a fishing rod. Six of the most common groupers that can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico are the Black, Gag, Red, Scamp, Snowy, and Warsaw groupers. While the juveniles are commonly found in the shallow grassy seabeds and tidal pools near the shoreline, mature groupers are mostly found deeper near coral reefs within tropical waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They are characteristically seen with a bulky body and a large mouth that is able to protrude their jaw outwards to grab or suck in their prey. They use rows of teeth in their throat that can act similarly to a bird’s gizzard, crushing prey for easier digestion. While the commercial season for groupers is throughout the year, recreational fishing is restricted between February 1st and March 31st. Since this is when almost all grouper species breed, sexually mature adults will aggregate in large groups for reproduction making them easy catches for fishermen. Various Parks and Wildlife departments have barred fishing for groupers at that time due to overfishing. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

 

More information and Links

Script Authors: Bianca Amador & Brandon Atwood

To observe pictures of groupers:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/06/warsaw-grouper-fish-gulf-of-mexico

gr giz

A Warsaw grouper caught in the Gulf of Mexico weighing 297 lbs

http://www.floridagofishing.com/florida-funky-fish-pictures.html

Looking down the throat of a Black grouper to view teeth plates

For more information about groupers:

 

http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/fishing_ra_0408_05/

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/policy_branch/