Small fish such as sardines and anchovies are an important part of the food web. They are also a very important source for consumption use. Unfortunately, these small fish have already started to become overfished. According to Alaistar Bland on National Public Radio, “other forage species have not yet been commercially targeted.’. This is why the National Marine Fisheries Service has passed a new law to prevent overfishing of these species.
According to NPR, “A rule passed Monday by the National Marine Fisheries Service makes it illegal for commercial fishermen to develop new fisheries for hundreds of forage species unless scientists have first determined that targeting them will have no negative impacts on the marine ecosystem, existing fisheries and fishing communities.’. Some of these other forage species include lanternfish and neon flying squid. This law will help prevent overfishing to happen with these other forage species.
Forage species are easy to harvest because they are known to gather into large schools. By putting this law in place it is not only protecting these species but it is also protecting the food web and the environment as a whole. If the bottom layer of the food chain is taken out, then the entire chain will collapse soon after.
Bland, Alastair. “Tiny Forage Fish At Bottom Of Marine Food Web Get New Protections.” NPR. NPR, 07 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. <https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/07/473293477/tiny-forage-fish-at-bottom-of-marine-food-chain-get-new-protections>.
Recent climate change in our world’s oceans has led to the decrease in phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is a critical part in the oceans food web because many species rely on it. This include juvenile fish. Due to the decrease in phytoplankton as a result of climate change, juvenile fish do not have a food source which affects the entire species population.
According to National Public Radio, “Atlantic cod, European and American plaice and sole’ are seeing the worst of this ripple effect. Gregory L. Britten, a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine states that “historically heavy fishing may also play a role’ in the decline of these species. Due to the reduction of phytoplankton, these species are not able to bounce back.
Researchers have looked at many places all over the globe to see the effect climate change is having on wild fish populations. According to National Public Radio “there were no significant declines’ in the Gulf of Alaska but many other places in the world the declining numbers of phytoplankton is having drastic effects on fisheries.
NOAA has put together a Fish Stock Climate Vulnerability Assessment to understand how climate change is affecting our world’s fisheries and how we can prevent them from further crashing. This is history in the making as fisheries management will have to be flexible to our ever-changing world.
Leschin-Hoar, Clare. “Fish Stocks Are Struggling To Rebound. Why Climate Change Is On The Hook.” NPR. NPR, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 07 Apr. 2016. <https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/14/459404745/fish-stocks-are-declining-worldwide-and-climate-change-is-on-the-hook>.
Alaska fisheries biologist are predicting the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run to be high again based on numbers from current runs. The predicted number of salmon to return to Bristol Bay are 36-56 million which would allow for a 30 million harvest. This will be the third above-average season in a row.
Researcher, Chuck Brazil from Bristol Bay Fish and Game says “data collected last summer was used in next summer’s projections, including age, sex and length data from both commercial harvests and escapement projects.’. This data is used to estimate the number of fish that will return to the bay in future years. Brazil also makes the claim that “the run is expected to contain a large portion of two-ocean fish.’ which means the fish will be smaller in size.
By own work – maps-for-free.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3709948
Due to the predictions being so high this year’s harvest will yield high numbers. Salmon harvesting account for 45% of harvesting jobs in Alaska. This high prediction will not only be good for the economy but people and animals alike.
Dischner, Molly. “Fisheries Biologists Predict Another Big Bristol Bay Sockeye Run.” Alaska Dispatch News. 08 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Mar. 2016. <https://www.adn.com/article/20151108/fisheries-biologists-predict-another-big-bristol-bay-sockeye-run>.
Shark fin soup is a very popular item on the menu in Asian cultures. Though it may be tasty, it is very wasteful. Typically, when a shark is caught for this dish its fins are cut off and the rest of the shark (still very much alive) is discarded back into the ocean. Not only is this very wasteful but it’s cruel. A finless shark cannot survive the vast open ocean.
The practice of shark finning according to National Public Radio (NPR) is decimating “species like silky, oceanic whitetip and dusky sharks around the world.’. In recent years the shark finning market has declined but according to Shelley Clarke, an independent researcher, “the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat, it turns out, is going strong.’ (Shelley Clarke, NPR). Clarke believes that this is happening because the ban on shark finning has encouraged fisherman to take the entire shark to port and sell the meat and fins.
Shark finning is similar to elephant and rhino poaching in the sense that if the demand for the animals (or parts of the animal) is high, then individuals are going to disregard laws. Due to laws not being very effective, conservationists are doing their best to educate the public on consequences of consuming sharks. They are also highlighting the health consequences of consuming sharks, as the meat has a high mercury content. Conservationists are doing their best to make the practice of consuming sharks taboo to save these animals.
Educating the public is a great way to go about this and experts believe that they will see a decline in the consumption of shark meat and fins. This approach could also help other species with problems of exploitation.
Bland, Alastair. “Why Shark Finning Bands Aren’t Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet).” NPR. NPR, 04 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
In the Early 1900’s the world agreed that whale meat was no longer needed to sustain the world’s population due to advancement of agriculture and farming technology. The world encouraged The League of Nations to do something about stopping whaling because people felt that whales were being exploited due to advancement in whaling technology and they may become extinct.
In 1986 the International Whaling Commission put a ban on commercial whaling, known as the Commercial Whaling Moratorium. Some countries (Norway and Iceland) chose to reject this ban and continue to hunt whales commercially. Some countries and populations use loopholes to avoid this.
Japan uses the loophole and claims that they are performing “scientific research’ or continue the act because of tradition. Japan however has produced minimal research findings. Sources, such as the Sea Sharp’s show that Japan is actually using whaling to profit by selling the meat in markets. Many activist groups, such as the Sea Shepard’s try to stop the Japanese from Commercial Whaling by using direct-action tactics. More can be found on their website: https://www.seashepherd.org/whales/
Due to Japans and other countries mass hunting of whales these gentle giants are being over-exploited (especially baleen whales) and are facing extinction. Japan vowed in 2014 “to resume whaling for science’. The theory is that whales will become extinct if they continue to be exploited and not properly managed. World Wildlife Fund states that Commercial Whaling is one of the three major threats to these whales.
TestTube News. “Why Won’t Japan Stop Illegally Hunting Whales?” YouTube. YouTube, 05 June 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
I would like to meet a bunch of lady rainbow parrotfish that will be a part of my harem.
Who I would like to avoid:
Sharks, eels and other large/scary ocean predators. At night I will cover myself in mucus so I don’t have a scent and hide in the coral to avoid these predators.
<—-These guys will take a chunk outta you.
I would also like to avoid ***careless humans*** who do not care for the world’s coral reefs. The reef and I have a mutualistic relationship which means we both need each other to flourish and survive. Get yourself educated with the chart below and don’t be a jerk.
Friends: Coral Reefs, my one true love. <3
General: I enjoy eating algae and coral off of coral reefs which in return helps the reefs. I spend 90% of my day eating. I also grind up coral and small rocks while eating and later excrete it, creating sand. Creating this sand creates a biome in which corals can flourish. In other words, my poop makes beautiful beach sand.
Movies: My favorite movie is Planet Earth.
Television: I do not have a favorite TV show but I enjoy watching Earthjustice. I even stared in one of their episodes, “Coral and Parrotfish-A Love Story’. Check it out!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMcEztHmb1U
Books: The rainbow fish is my favorite book.
Hero: Myself, I am the hero of the world’s coral reefs. I “keep the coral reefs vibrant and full’ according to Pete Mumby, a professor at University of Queensland, Australia. See what he has to say about me here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aAfIlRjgk8
There are about 80 different species of parrotfish. Other parrotfish also help preserve coral reefs. Here I am with my buddy Twilight, the Midnight parrotfish taking a lunch break.
Life so far:
I spent the first portion of my life in the juvenile phase, all parrotfish are born as females. I have recently changed my sex from female to a terminal male because the recent male died in my harem and I was the largest, most dominant female. I will live to be 4-5 years old.
I’m here for:
Dating: I am looking for female rainbow parrotfish to be a part of my harem and eat algae off of coral with me.
Marital Status: Bachelor
Hometown: Tropical waters, coral reefs.
Sexual Orientation: Interested in all of the lady rainbow parrotfish out there. Don’t be shy. 😉
Body Type: I am a male in my terminal phase. I was born as a female and became the dominant female in my harem. When the previous dominant male died I became the next dominant male. Before I was a male I was drab in color. I am now brightly colored. I also have a beak-like mouth to munch on algae and coral. I swim by using my pectoral fins to “row” around. If I need to swim faster I use my caudal fin.
Ethnicity: Scarus guacamaia
Religion: I believe in having as many females in my harem that I can breed with as possible. My reproductive mode is polygamous.
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Children: All of the female fish in my harem have laid hundreds of eggs. However, most of these eggs will not develop into adult rainbow parrotfish.
Education: I am an expert in Coral Reef health and preservation.
Occupation: Saving one coral reef at a time by eating the algae off of coral.
Income: High. My job is to eat and I spend 90% of my day doing that (how cool is that?!).
Smoke/Drink: I do not smoke or drink, I’ll stick to algae and coral.
Schools/Education: My classroom is the coral reef.
What these scientist actually found was these guppies are not adapting to their environment. The scientist were surprised to find that their assumptions were wrong because the guppies seemed to be surviving just fine and are known to adapt quickly.
The world’s ecosystem is changing quickly due to high stress that mankind is putting on the environment. If fish were able to adapt or survive in water that is highly polluted by oil it would be very beneficial.
The guppies didn’t adapt but are instead “running away” from their competitors and predators. The guppies can survive in the oil-polluted environment much better than their predators and competition.
McGill University. “How Do Fish Adapt to Oil Pollution?” YouTube. YouTube, 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.
Rolshausen, G., Phillip, D. A. T., Beckles, D. M., Akbari, A., Ghoshal, S., Hamilton, P. B., Tyler, C. R., Scarlett, A. G., Ramnarine, I., Bentzen, P. and Hendry, A. P. (2015), Do stressful conditions make adaptation difficult? Guppies in the oil-polluted environments of southern Trinidad. Evolutionary Applications, 8: 854—870. doi: 10.1111/eva.12289