All posts by Michael Hubert

Reform of EU fishing policy

The European Parliament has approved a package of major reforms to the EU Common Fisheries Policy, designed to cut waste and stop overfishing in European waters.

Under the current plan good fish are throw away and back to the sea.The current policy  is wasteful – 75% of stocks are still overfished and catches are only a fraction of what they were 15-20 years ago. Catches of cod for example have declined by 70% in the last 10 years. With this fisherman pull in more then their quota and the overage of dead fish is dumped back to the sea.

Under the new legislation they will decrease the number of boats and the fisherman will have to land their entire catch and anything over their quota they will be penalized. They will also look into getting better technology to help manage the take they bring in. Also fisheries will managed on a ecosystem basis where there needs to be more flexibility in the system and more scientific data needs to be collected on a larger number of fish species.

They will also crack down on illegal fishing and over fishing by other countries like Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines.


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A TEXAS state aquarium in CORPUS CRISTI had a large fish kill in their major tanks. About 400 large and small fish like nurse sharks, green moray eels, spadefish, amberjack, tarpon, grouper and a sand tiger shark, plus many other small fish and animals over night. The aquarium was treating the water for a parasite from the trematoda family. Aquarium officials added the white powder trichlorfon, a common parasite treatment. They tested the chemical in smaller tanks with no problems. They chose to use the chemical in the bigger tanks. When the employee’s came in the next day they saw all the fish dead in the tanks. They had attributed it to a mislabeled container. The smaller container they used for the smaller tanks had the chemical to treat the parasites. The larger container was mislabeled and had a chemical for paint additives and film processing. It is also know as a carcinogen. The error is believed to been made at the distributor of the tropical fish pharmaceutical. Other aquariums in the area, across the United States and even in Singapore have been helping replace the aquariums losses.






European Parliament Committee Takes Positive Step Toward Sustainable Fisheries



The European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee approved a multi-annual plan for the Baltic Sea on March 31 that could prove a significant step toward ending overfishing in EU waters. This was a critical decision for establishing the principle that these plans should match the objectives set in the European Union’s recently reformed Common Fisheries Policy. Most importantly, the CFP seeks to restore and maintain fish populations above levels that can produce what is known as the maximum sustainable yield, the largest average catch that can be taken without affecting the long-term stability of the population.

In a report called Turning Tides which showed the historical diversity of the seas of the north Europe and the effects of over fishing and the role of the European Union fisheries management.  Here are some of the effects that happened.

In the Irish Sea, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea has recommended zero catch of cod since 2004.

In the Celtic Sea, fishing pressure has transformed the composition of the sea’s ecosystem. Populations of large fish species, such as cod and angler fish, have declined, while those of smaller species, such as blue whiting, megrim, and whiting, have increased.

West of Scotland and Ireland, the blue whiting fishery was the largest in the north-east Atlantic in 2003 but had collapsed completely by 2011.

time lineThe members also supported measures that would take effect immediately as soon as fish stocks fell below the maximum sustainable yield level. Provision is crucial to ensuring that stocks are restored and maintained at healthy levels able to deliver sustainable fishing.

This seems to be a problem all over the world.


The world’s shark populations are experiencing significant declines and maybe extinction



Shark fins are worth more than other parts of the shark and are often removed from the body, which gets thrown back into the sea. Many countries allow the fins to be landed detached from shark bodies, as long as their weight does not exceed five per cent of the total shark catch.




A study published in the journal Fish Biology analyzes the fin to body weight ratios for 50 different shark species. The authors find the average fin to body mass is three per cent — considerably lower than the five per cent ratio currently legislated by the EU and other countries.

“The five percent ratio provides an opportunity to harvest extra fins from more sharks without retaining 100 per cent of the corresponding shark carcasses,” says Sea Around Us Project

researcher Leah Biery, lead author of the study. “It does not prevent waste or overfishing, as the law intended.” Currently, the EU and eight other countries use at least a five per cent shark fin to body weight ratio for landed catch. Only 59 countries in the world have any legislation related to sharks.





“This is a big concern because the loss of sharks can affect the wider ecosystem,” said Mike Heithaus, executive director of FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society and co-author of the paper. “In working with tiger sharks, we’ve seen that if we don’t have enough of these predators around, it causes cascading changes in the ecosystem, that trickle all the way down to marine plants.” Such changes can harm other species, and may negatively affect commercial fisheries, Heithaus explains.

Here is another example of them setting legislation that is set in place without looking at the whole picture. It also shows that there are people or companies are more worried about the money then the effects of overfishing will have.


University of British Columbia. “Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal, experts say.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2012. <>.

Dalhousie University. “Shark fisheries globally unsustainable: 100 million sharks die every year.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. <>.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. “Sharks In Peril: Ocean’s Fiercest Predators Now Vulnerable To Extinction.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2008. <>.




Two Alaska state senators have sent a letter protesting a new fishery on the Kenai River. In January the federal subsistence board voted to allow setnet/gillnet use in certain areas of the KENI River. The fishery targets red salmon, but other species will be caught in the nets also. Biologists were concerned about resident species such as dolly and rainbow trout as well as the king salmon runs. People are also concerned with the new fishery being harmful to conservation efforts in the area. The board seems to say it will have little impact on the fish in the area.












Hi my name is Claude.

I am an Astacidea. We can be found on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. You might have heard them call me Crayfish in the north or Crawdad in the central region. But I am from New Orleans in the south where they call me Crawfish. Some of my female friends call me ClawDADDY!


I love it down here in NOLA (that’s short for New Orleans Louisiana). I love the Zydeco music and the jazz on every corner. I am quiet Famous around these areas. So famous the KING (ELVIS) himself sang a song about me. Check it out

 I have been a few movies and even stared in a Horror film. Also Nike made me my own shoes.


I could Brag all day but let me tell you where I came from. I started out in a small rice pond in south Louisiana where my mother gave birth to me. That’s my mom! Do you see me? (I am the good-looking egg on the left). I had a lot of brothers and sisters!!



This is me a few weeks older (still looking handsome)


Our life span is not very long. We can live up to 8 years but not a lot of us make it to that ripe old age. The average is about three years. We grow very rapidly to reach adult size in 3-4 months. We either mate and start the process over again, or we will die.lifecycleofacrawfish

We do most of our eating at night. We will almost eat anything even dead animals. We crawl and live on the bottom of areas .We also also need fresh water like ponds, rivers, lakes, and streams. We dig burrows in the mud for homes and also hide under rocks, logs, and lily pads.








We have a body of a crustacean, such as a crab, lobster, or prawn, which is made up of twenty body segments  grouped into two main body parts. We are a fast and tough animal and behave in many different ways like when I sense movement or danger; I raise my pincers and arch my back.  I can also curl my tail under and shoot backwards in the water.  The females also curl its tail to protect her eggs.  I can also defend my home by pinching intruders to show who’s the boss.  crayfish_exrternal_with_labels





We like to be eating by fish, snakes, birds and a lot of other predators. But if I must say Humans eat us in the Best Way! You throw huge Festivals in our honor. And even dress like us!!






































I do loose a lot of relatives on these days!! But you do love a lot of us.

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I will have to leave you now I am late for a festival where I am being honored as the King of the festival!! I hope they are going to have food there I am hungry!

Oh before I leave there is a famous saying we say down here that I would like to pass on to you. It is     “Laissez les bon temps roulez’

which means: “Let the Good Times Roll’

And remember!


Saemangeum Land Reclamation destroys tidal wetlands

In South Korea, Saemangeum land reclamation project uses a 20.5 mile sea dyke to reclaim an area of 155 sq. miles, turning coastal tidelands that are key feeding areas for globally threatened birds and fish into land for factories, golf courses and water treatment plants. The redevelopment is highly controversial. The completion of the sea wall, the longest in the world, has apparently destroyed a habitat that served as a stopover for 400,000 migrating birds and environmentalists are still campaigning for the wetland to be reinstated.



Saemangeum tidal flat, known as one of the famous estuarine wetlands in the world, is a rare habitat in itself to have high species diversity and biomass. Total 435 species of macro fauna were recorded in Saemangeum tidal flat. Considering that more than 50 % of oriental hard clams in Korea were produced in this area, it is not difficult to imagine how much Saemangeum project affects the coastal ecosystem and fisheries in western coast of Korea.

Saemangeum tidal flat is located in estuaries of Mangyeong and Dongjin River. More than 400,000 migratory birds including as many as 30 species of oystercatchers and plovers use this tidal flat as a refueling post for negotiating a 15,000-mile round trip between the southern hemisphere and south-east Asia, and breeding sites in Alaska and Russia. At the height of migration, over 150,000 waders from more than 25 species seek food at Saemangeum in a single day. The spoon-billed sandpiper  and Nordmann’s greenshank  face extinction as their remaining populations rely on the tidal-flats of the Yellow Sea and on Saemangeum in particular.nordmanns-greenshank_nm-1-scaled1000saemangeum-embanked-tidal-flats-to-be-converted-into-agriculture-and-other-use-south-korea_1d15

Saemangeum project is expected to give a negative impact to local fisheries as well as tidal flat ecosystem. The estimated area which can be damaged by the project includes 18 towns, where as many as 12,000 fishermen and their families live. They have caught seafood by ship or hand raking for a living. With the loss of some of the different fish species such as Croaker, flounder, prawn, hair tail and blue crab and clams. Also will change how they catch squid, saury, Alaska Pollack, yellow tail and red crab in the area.



“This project is not about protecting the environment,” said Park Hyoung Bae, an official with the Saemangeum development authority. “It is about economic development. And we will do that in an environmentally sound way.”

The project it is to be completed by 2030. But at what cost?







Satellite images from 1987-2013




Video of Seawall

Video of the tidal flats and sea life: