All posts by clarmijo

Scientific Findings Should Affect Changes in Policy

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Because this is a Blog about News I will start with Publishing Findings in the News:

ENN: Environmental News Network — Know Your Environment


From:  Editor,  Oceana,  More from this Affiliate
Published  April 16, 2013 06:50 AM

Seismic Airgun Testing for Oil and Gas Threatens Marine Life and Coastal Economies

According to government estimates, 138,500 whales and dolphins will soon be injured and possibly killed along the East Coast if exploration companies are allowed to use dangerous blasts of noise to search for offshore oil and gas.

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is considering allowing geophysical companies, working on behalf of oil and gas companies, to use seismic airguns to search for offshore oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean, from Delaware to Florida. These airguns use compressed air to generate intense pulses of sound, which are 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine.

These loud blasts are used on a recurring basis, going off every ten seconds, for 24 hours a day, often for weeks on end. They are so loud that they penetrate through the ocean, and miles into the seafloor, then bounce back, bringing information to the surface about the location of buried oil and gas deposits.

Airgun blasts harm whales, dolphins, sea turtles and fish. The types of impacts marine mammals may endure include temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of mating and feeding, beach strandings and even death. Seismic airguns could devastate marine life, and harm fisheries and coastal economies along the Atlantic coast. Seismic testing in the Atlantic would also be the first major step toward offshore drilling, which further harms the marine environment through leaks, oil spills, habitat destruction and greenhouse gas emissions.

Humpback whale with calf photo  via Shutterstock.

Read more at ENN Affiliate,  Oceana.

You are lucky if you are supported by such an  extensive, credible report:


However, your findings must be from credible scientists such as:




You can then encourage use of cool advocacy tools  for posting to Facebook, etc., to let your concerns go viral, educate the public, get those signatures needed for your petition to change policy at:



Stop seismic airgun testing for oil and gas off the U.S. East Coast.

According to your Department of the Interior, seismic airgun testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic will injure or kill 138,500 dolphins and whales, including endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Seismic airguns and offshore drilling threaten commercial and recreational fisheries as well as ocean-based tourism and coastal recreation from Delaware to Florida. 730,000 jobs in this region depend on a healthy ocean. Seismic airgun testing is the first step toward expanding deepwater drilling, the same practice that caused the well-known Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous, and seismic airguns are an insult to ocean economies and ecosystems. With respect, we call on your administration to reject seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic.

Created:  Apr 15, 2013

Issues:  Energy,  Environment,  Natural Resources


It is more effective when you use attractive, enticing, factual posters:

what are you waiting for


2012 Status of Stocks

Recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress, as required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, demonstrates the success of science-based management in U.S. fisheries. NOAA Fisheries and Regional Fishery Management Councils work collectively to attain decreases in overfishing and overfished, while increasing fish stocks. 446 stocks and stock complexes are currently managed within 46 federal fishery management plans nationwide. Although overfishing can be the main cause of depletion of these stock, other factors such as disease, habitat degradation and environmental changes; ie, climate, ocean acidification and land based pollution must also be taken into account as prevailing environmental and fishery conditions.

There have been sacrifices, and more are needed from the fishing and seafood industries, recreational anglers, fishing communities and the public . Timely collection of data, assessments of economic consequences of management actions and increased understanding of environmental factors, are required to continue the process of sustainably managing US fisheries. Stock assessments use the best information available, which may include data from fishery landings, scientific surveys, and biological and ecological studies, undergoing review by independent scientists before it is accepted by a Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee as the best scientific information available. This information is then used by the Council to recommend the annual catch limit for the stock.

To date, 10 stocks are no longer subject to overfishing, four stocks are no longer overfished, and six stocks have been rebuilt, this brings the total number rebuilt to 32 since 2000.

Video — World’s Deadliest: Shrimp Packs a Punch — National Geographic and Alaska Shrimp Fisheries Management

Mantis shrimp  orstomatopods  are marinecrustaceans, the members of the  orderStomatopoda.They may reach 30 centimetres (12  in) in length, although exceptional cases of up to 38  cm (15  in) have been recorded.


via Video — World’s Deadliest: Shrimp Packs a Punch — National Geographic.


Amazing!  This video demonstrates the treacherousness of the Mantis shrimp.  We observe the shrimp in pursuit of a crab. First, not only is the shrimp able to see with hexnocular vision (two eyes with three focal points each), it also has the ability to see in ultraviolet and infrared.

The crab’s attempt to run and hide in a discarded glass was useless as was the choice of refuge.  The Mantis shrimp is shown breaking through the 1/4 ” glass that the crab attempted to hide under with only 2 punches!

Indeed, not only my appreciation for its voraciousness has been altered, my admiration for the beauty of the shrimp as well:

File:Mantis shrimp from front.jpg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Although the Mantis shrimp is found mostly  in the  Indian and Pacific Oceans between eastern Africa and Hawaii, and therefore will not be found  in Alaskan waters; here are a few interesting facts about the four types of shrimp found in Alaska waters:

“1) Most Sidestriped shrimp begin their lives as males and become female after a year or two.

2)Spot shrimp have been found over 1,500 feet deep.

3)Northern shrimp move up off the bottom and the water column at night to feed on plankton.

4)Coonstripe shrimp carry as many as 4,000 eggs.

Management of coonstripe shrimp is under the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska for all waters out to 200 miles offshore. Commercial harvests for pot fisheries are managed using guideline harvest ranges (GHR) or levels (GHL) set within discrete areas or districts. GHRs for fishing districts are generally based on historic and recent harvest levels, and are adjusted annually preseason according to stock assessment information compiled by ADF&G staff. These harvest ranges or levels are expressed in terms of the catch of a target species or combination of species. For example, in areas or districts where the GHR is expressed in terms of spot shrimp, the coonstripe shrimp bycatch levels are largely unregulated. The small beam trawl fishery in Southeast Alaska is regulated by specific trip and seasonal bycatch limits to prevent targeting of spot and coonstripe shrimp. Beam trawling in Prince William Sound targets sidestripe shrimp at greater depths where coonstripe shrimp catches are very low or nonexistent.

Shrimp trawl fisheries are managed exclusively by the State of Alaska. Northern shrimp are currently harvested in trawl fisheries only in the western Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, and Southeast Alaska.

Trawl fisheries in western Alaska are managed under the Westward Region Shrimp Management Plan, first approved in 1982. The plan sets minimum biomass thresholds for allowing harvest in some of the historically most productive inshore areas. Guideline harvest levels are set based on catch history from trawl surveys and a voluntary logbook. Other inshore waters are closed to otter and beam trawling. Remaining offshore waters are open by regulation without biomass thresholds or harvest guidelines, but have supported very little fishing since the 1986-87 season.

The Prince William Sound trawl fishery is managed under guideline harvest levels based on trawl surveys in the northwest and historic catches in the southwest. The fishery targets sidestripe shrimp and has a 10% bycatch limit on northern shrimp.

Southeast Alaska trawl fisheries are managed under guideline harvest levels based on historic catches. Fisheries are closed in the spring during the egg-hatching period. Multiple fishing periods are established to spread out harvest over time and take advantage of growth and recruitment. The Southeast trawl fishery has transitioned to targeting mostly sidestripe shrimp, and northern shrimp are taken as bycatch.

The Alaska State Constitution establishes, as state policy, the development and use of replenishable resources, in accordance with the principle of sustained yield, for the maximum benefit of the people of the state. In order to implement this policy for the fisheries resources of the state, the Alaska Legislature created the Alaska  Board of Fisheries  (BOF) and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

The BOF was given the responsibility to establish regulations guiding the conservation and development of the state’s fisheries resources, including the distribution of benefits among subsistence, commercial, recreational, and personal uses. The ADF&G was given the responsibility to implement the BOF’s regulations and management plans through the scientific management of the state’s fisheries resources. Scientific and technical advice is also provided by the ADF&G to the BOF during its rule-making process. The separation of rule-making and inseason management responsibilities between these two entities is generally regarded as contributing to the success of Alaska’s fisheries management system.

The ADF&G’s fishery management activities fall into two categories: inseason management and applied science. For inseason management, the department deploys a cadre of fishery managers near the fisheries. These individuals have broad authority to open and close fisheries based on their professional judgment, the most current biological data from field projects, and fishery performance.” (accessed 3/23/13)




World Fisheries ~ Vertebrates

I chose this bit of news about sustainable Red Snapper fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico because it demonstrates the challenges of managing a recovering fish in a multi-state, long-range fisheries management.  The information is presented in an understandable, easily-readable format.  There are historical, current, as well as options for the future provided for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper fisheries.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t agreement between each of the state’s on the level of fishing allowed within their designated state waters.   This imbalance resulted in the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) setting more stringent regulations in the federal water’s specifically outside those states unwilling to cooperate.

Interestingly, although the number of fish has significantly increased, fishing will continue to be reduced until the female Red Snapper are allowed to reach their peak productive years.  Also of interest, the season must be shortened because the fish, on average, weigh twice as much as before and are more plentiful, so the allowable pounds of fish are caught quicker.

Although NOAA ultimately determines the regulations for the federal waters, the Gulf Council, engages state and federal fishery managers, working together, while also allowing the public to participate, and engaging regional stakeholders on fishery issues.  All the parties work together to find a way forward in the cooperative spirit that the council process promotes.

Indigenous Fisheries

Long before state regulations were put into place, Alaska Natives managed their fisheries.  There was no need to take more than needed, respect for nature; using all that was taken… nothing wasted ~ was a way of life.  The traditional knowledge can be incorporated into scientific knowledge; together forming policies protecting a sustainable way of life.

Does the cultural need to seasonally provide for everyone in the tribe’s annual needs conflict with Alaska state regulations?

This private impromptu video shows the shock and outrage at the perhaps unnecessarily harsh actions of Alaska’s State Officials.

Alaska State Officials seized king salmon cut fishing nets from Alaska Native subsistence fishermen

In recognition of the rights of the Alaska Natives, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, has established 8 criterions to determine the appropriateness of Alaska Native subsistence fishers catch.

NOAA also recognizes Alaska Native subsistence for individual harvests; i.e., marine mammals, “Alaska Natives have a long history of self-regulation, based on the need to ensure a sustainable take of marine mammals for food and handicrafts. Co-management promotes full and equal participation by Alaska Natives in decisions affecting the subsistence management of marine mammals (to the maximum extent allowed by law) as a tool for conserving marine mammal populations in Alaska.”

Does the current situation resonate with the Alaska Natives’ inherent knowledge and respect for the environment while providing for their own?  This is certainly a topic requiring much more research.  Actually, traditional knowledge of the indigenous is a rich topic that many are interested in.  “To improve and expand the application of local and traditional knowledge, an inventory is in the process of being created by the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Artic (ELOKA) to monitor and obtain basic descriptive, location, and citation information of local and traditional knowledge programs, projects or datasets.”  ELOKA – TEK & LTK: Community Based Monitoring Data Set Inventory.



Fish farming a growing interest for farmers | Vanuatu Daily Post


Harrison Selmen wrote this article, Fish farming a growing interest for farmers for Vanuatu Daily Post on 2/25/13.   This is a shout out for their new aquaculture program, educating and supporting locals in raising tilapia fish.   The figures are confusing to me and would require research and confirmation to be reliable.   They show there has been an increase in the past year from ½ ton tilapia from 8 farmers (including the Vanuatu Agriculture College (VAC)) to 2 ½ tons from 16 farmers.     Kudos go out to the VAC, Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) school, SPC (Sanma Province Community?), partner Communities (not sure who these are), Climate Change (again unsure what this is) and the farmers.

While delight is expressed by Alo, the aquaculture officer in Luganville, over the growing high interest achieved, the success in meeting government objectives for income generation, food security (while relieving fishing pressures from rivers and the reef) showed successful adoption of fisheries resource management was the most important achievement.

The Fisheries Department in Luganville and the VAC will fund the program for helping locals setup backyard farms.   Alo’s aquaculture office has pledged to support at least 30 additional farmers by purchasing pond materials, feeds and providing technical advice.

That the farms are providing relief on the rivers and the reef indicates there has been declining wild Tilapia.   This seems to be an ideal situation as they recover.   The local fishermen will feel the impact to their personal revenue; however, the new farmers will support the local economy by providing the fish for consumption until sustainable practices can be resumed in the reef and rivers.

It is unclear by this article whether the farms are integrated into agricultural production by using waste products from domesticated animals to fertilize the water and produce fish food.   That they are tilapia would indicate this is so.

Because the ponds are inland there is no threat of competition or mating with wild stock.   The location prevents escape into the rivers and reef.   The article also does not discuss if the tilapia are genetically modified, or how the waste is handled or the life expectancy of the ponds.

The article does suggest expected growth of this practice, so these environmental concerns must be addressed if they have not already.   I appreciate the positive note of the article and the involvement of a fisheries manager as well as the school setup to educate before support is provided.   Overall, this practice can allow time for local reef and river recovery while ensuring healthy local economies.

Fish farming a growing interest for farmers | Vanuatu Daily Post.

Week 4 Blog

Week 4 blog Flying SquidBlog 4 japanese flying squid

Japanese Flying Squid, Todarodes pacificus

The evolution of squid has enabled them to discern danger quickly (largely due to their eyesight being catlike).  Besides the normal squid ability to change colors and/or propel swiftly through the water in response to predators, the Japanese Flying Squid’s jet propulsion and fin capabilities allow it to launch itself out of the water and fly very long distance.  It also has developed the ability to close its fins upon reentering the water resulting in a graceful descent.  Unfortunately, it is believed, the flight through the air might then expose the Flying Squid to other possible predators such as birds.

The name itself, the Flying Squid, clearly indicates human awareness of the ability to fly. The range of it’s spectacular flying abilities was only recently documented by Hokkaido University researchers though: its flight measures at 37 feet per second while maintaining flight for 98 feet!

Japanese Flying Squid’s Abilities Confirmed, Speed Measured By Scientists