Category Archives: News with Fins

Use this category when sharing a current event for the class for the ‘news with fins’ assignment.

Massive Fish Kill News with fins #5


Nova Scotia has been left puzzled.   During the last week in November, scientists and local people are stunned.   Numerous dead fish had washed up on the shore.   No one seems to know why all the dead Herring.   Many scientists have considered what may have caused it.   Could it be Climate change, human related or just mother nature.

In the beginning, they did consider climate change since the waters in this area are warming up faster every year, but again only speculation on an idea.   Many tests had been done to see if anything by people caused the mass kill.   They were tested for chemicals, disease, viral/bacterial, contaminants or poor quality of the water.

All the test came back negative.   No indication that man had anything to do with it.   Researchers then looked to the bottom of the sea floor.   There had been an earthquake in mid-December but again fish started showing up the last week in November. There was no signs of movement from fault lines, sulfide or emissions from pockmarks.   There was no evidence of mortality anywhere.

Still no answer has been determined.   Scientists and locals remained baffled.   They still have no answer on why such a large abundance of Herring washed up on shore.




The first study and identification was done in 1986.   These tapeworms can only affect humans if eaten raw.   They have been found in chum, masu, pink and sockeye salmon.   There has been over 2,000 cases of people infected with the tapeworm but mostly in Asia.   With cases being reported, the Czech Science Foundation had researched 64 Alaska wild salmon (31 sockeyes, 23 pinks, 8 rainbow trout’s, 1 king and 1 Coho salmon).   After examining the salmon and trout numerous tapeworms were found that was 99 percent match to the Japanese broad tapeworm.

 How did this happen?   Well trickledown effect.   Infected birds poop out the eggs that goes into the water.   Those eggs turn into larvae and are eaten by small crustaceans known as copepods.   Then the copepods are eaten by the salmon.   Bingo we have an infected Alaska salmon full of tapeworms.  


I love eating salmon and I will make sure it is fully cooked before I touch it.   Fish and Game say for your own protection to cook the fish fully or freeze it before eating it to -4 to kill any parasitic worms.   They do not see this as a problem now but will keep on researching.   For those of you that like eating sushi and eat it in restaurants, they are supposed to freeze before they serve.   For my choice, I will just prefer to do it myself.

Climate Change Prompts Alaska Fish To Change Breeding Behavior News #3

Climate Change Prompts Alaska Fish To Change Breeding Behavior


According to researchers from the University of Washington, with climate change occurring breeding behaviors have changed.   The Three spine stickleback is one of the species that occupies lakes in the Bristol Bay Region.   The research was originally to capture information on Alaska’s sockeye salmon.   They started doing research in 1963 and continued to 2015.   This research was done to track the abundance of juvenile salmon in the freshwater lake of Aleknagik.  

Samples were taken along the lakeshore with nets every 7 days at 10 different sites from June until September.   While tracking the sockeye salmon, they also tracked all other species that was caught.   Three spine sticklebacks occupy the same space and feed on the same food that sockeye salmon do.   Sticklebacks usually only breed once a summer.   Findings in the captured nets show to different maturities which means, two different breeding times.   Alaska’s climate change in spring thaw is double to the climate change in different areas.   We know we are getting spring faster and the summers a little longer than normal.   Sticklebacks are now proved to be breeding twice in early spring during the thaw and then again in late summer.   Researchers do not know if this will be a problem now but foresee it will become a problem in the future.  

News with Fins #2 Ghost Shark



The Ghost shark is one of the craziest fish you will be lucky to view.   The deep sea living beauty looks like a shark but is actually considered part of the ratfish family.   This one above is called a pointy-nosed blue ratfish.   It’s given name is Hydrolagus trolli.   For most part they tend to live in the Southern Hemisphere 1 to 3 miles below the water’s surface.     The look of the ghost shark has a very unique look to it.   Honestly, it looks like it has no mouth but is completely stitched up.       They have sensory organs all over the body but especially in the mouth area.   This is used to sense movement and vibration in the water to locate food.   Another odd thing about the Ghost fish is the mating ritual.   The male has a sexual related organ on top of there head that helps position a female during mating.

They are extremely rare for sightings starting in 2002.   Yet now they are being seen more, but not for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere.   Scientists are not saying anything about migration.       All scientific information says that the ratfish have been around from 350 to 375 million years ago.   From the first sighting there has been 19 new ratfish species uncovered.   Researchers say there are probably many more to come.

Fish Turn Off Genes to Adapt to Climate Change News with Fins #1


Many different species have had to change their normal adaptation to survive.   Skates are one of the fish species that have had this change occur due to climate change.


Kingdom — Animalia     Class — Chondrichthyes             Order — Rajiformes         Family — Rajidae       Genus — Leucoraia


Skate is a cartilaginous species of fish found in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.   The skate has inhabited the area for over 7000 years.   Research has followed that the winter skate has been smaller than the previous years.   As researching had concluded, because of the shallowness from where they inhabit is why.   Becoming shallower the species has had to adapt to warmer climate.   Studies show that it is not a DNA change but a adaptation of using and expressing different genes.   This is a process called epigenetic changes — which basically means they are switching on and off parts of DNA with specified functions.   What is going to be necessary to use or not and this is all done within the fish.

It is not like physical change of appearance that would be considered alterations of the fish’s appearance.   This change makes the skate to be able to quickly adapt to an increase climate change.   This also is only occurring in species with longer life spans and low reproductively rates. Article by Kavya Balaraman photographs

“Four Arrested for Breaking Fishing Laws”

All too often people who break environmental laws get off with a slap on the wrist, which most environmentalists consider a slap in the face.   Not to mention that presumably most wildlife law breakers are never even caught.    However, for a group of four Florida men, it looks as though they will probably be facing some pretty serious consequences for being caught red-handed poaching important and protected marine species.

The four men were the subject of a yearlong Fish and Wildlife Conservation poaching investigation that was organized after the department received tips about one of the men possibly being involved in some illegal fishing activities.   An FWC officer describes the four men as knowing “exactly what they were doing.   They built their vessels specifically to hide fish, and we knew that’.   He also called their “disregard for Florida’s natural resources…astonishing’.

The species found between two boats included goliath grouper, red grouper, yellowtail snapper, African pompano and a “chopped up’ sea turtle, all of which are illegal to possess.   The men made so much off of poaching that two of the men were able to quit their day jobs to focus full-time on acquiring the high priced species.

The bust was aided by a “specially trained canine officer’, who was needed because of the men had designed their vessels specifically to hide target species.   The men are now facing serious charges.   One is being charged with 23 misdemeanor counts of illegal possession; and the other three are each facing 225 misdemeanor counts for illegal possession, and one felony for the taking and mutilation of the sea turtle.

This article should feel reassuring to environmentalists who have watched repeatedly as poachers are given the benefit of the doubt, or multiple chances to discontinue their activities, all while we lose vital species to extinction.   The officers involved speak passionately about saving resources for their children, and that is exactly what we need.   Passionate, (and well-funded) enforcement efforts that yield real results, and set real examples.


Work Cited:

Gill, Kristine. “Four Arrested for Breaking Fishing Laws’ Naples Daily News, 2015.

Laws to Fight Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud in the U.S.

New law empowers U.S. to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud and promote the sustainable management of international fisheries


Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) commercial fishing is an issue that threatens both the economic and environmental sustainability of several fisheries around the globe and the United States has just joined administrative efforts with thirteen other nations in efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud. President Obama recently signed the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act and will now join global efforts to implement the Ports State Measure Agreement (PSMA) to help prevent illegally harvested fish from entering the U.S. ports and help keep illegal products out of the U.S. market.

tuna tails

Once twenty-five countries have ratified the PSMA it will be legally binding and to help encourage ratification by other countries the United States has already implemented most of the measures outlined in the PSMA in domestic ports and vessels. The PSMA will also let the United States to fully participate in the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission by allowing us to ratify the Antigua Convention. This means the U.S. can help aid in the process of managing highly migratory species such as the Tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean.


United States : New Law Empowers U.S. to Combat Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud and Promote the Sustainable Management of International Fisheries. (2015, November 7). Mena Report. Retrieved 2016, from

Better Global Ocean Management

The Great News:

New research has been presenting improved fishing that could potentially improve the health of wild fisheries.  Some say the global fish populations could even double by 2050.


A Thai fisherman catches freshwater white tilapia fish at a fish farm in Samut Prakarn province June 6, 2012. The price per kilo of white tilapia fish has decreased to almost half the price it was before historic floods hit Thailand last year. The country's exports unexpectedly fell in April from a year earlier as industry continued to feel the impact of the flooding but the Commerce Ministry expects a significant improvement in the second half of the year. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A Thai fisherman catches freshwater white tilapia fish at a fish farm in Samut Prakarn province June 6, 2012. The price per kilo of white tilapia fish has decreased to almost half the price it was before historic floods hit Thailand last year. The country’s exports unexpectedly fell in April from a year earlier as industry continued to feel the impact of the flooding but the Commerce Ministry expects a significant improvement in the second half of the year. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND – Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)


“This research shows that we really can have our fish and eat them, too,” said lead author Christopher Costello, a professor of environmental and resource economics at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “We no longer need to see ocean fisheries as a series of trade-offs. In fact, we show that we can have more fish in the water, more food on the plate and more prosperous fishing communities — and it can happen relatively quickly.”


This study was conducted by researchers in Santa Barbra, The University of Washington, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

They conducted multiple variables and equations to come up with 77% of the world’s fisheries biomass could double.

The researchers used a huge database of 4,713 fisheries representing 78 percent of the ocean’s catch.



“We’ve uncovered a really important insight: There is urgency and a tremendous upside in reforming thousands of small-scale, community fisheries around the world,” said co-author Ray Hilborn, a professor of marine biology and fisheries science at the University of Washington. “The research adds to the body of work showing that most of the world’s large fisheries are doing relatively well, but it emphasizes the critical need to rebuild local fisheries, most of which are in the developing world where millions depend on fisheries for food and their livelihoods.”

The researchers have concluding that reforms on sanctioned fishing rights are critical to provide benefits to increase fish populations and food production.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Portrait of a very happy young man in a rain of money; Shutterstock ID 148789697; PO: lottery-winner-money-stock-today-tease-160108; Client: TODAY Digital

What would you do if you won the lottery? Portrait of a very happy young man in a rain of money; Shutterstock ID 148789697; PO: lottery-winner-money-stock-today-tease-160108; Client: TODAY DigitalQuote:


“We now have a clear roadmap for how to recover fisheries: Give fishermen secure fishing rights so they can control and protect their future,” said co-author Amanda Leland, senior vice president for oceans at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Countries from the U.S. to Belize to Namibia are leading a turnaround by implementing secure fishing rights and realizing benefits for people and the oceans.”

Since 2000, overfishing in U.S. federal waters has dropped by 70% also the number of species managed by fishing rights have increased four times the normal amount. In the past three years, fishing  jobs have increased by 31% and fishing revenues have grown by 44%.


“Our research reveals a stark choice: Either manage fisheries sustainably and realize the tremendous potential of the world’s oceans, or allow the status quo to continue to draw down the natural capital of our oceans,” said Costello.



University of California – Santa Barbara. “Better global ocean management.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2016. <>.

First Evidence Found That ‘Cryptic Female Choice’ is Adaptive

News With Fins #5

This week I got the chance to read an article on a study of Chinook salmon spawning and how this may also show us a better understanding of human and other animal reproductions.


Red Salmon.

Credit: © Olga Vasik / Fotolia

Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago where studying Chinook salmon that has shown evidence that “cryptic female choice’ (CFC) enhances fertilization success and embryo survival (University of Otago). Through this research they have found the cryptic female choice involves females using physical or chemical mechanisms to control which male fertilizes their eggs after mating, and is known to occur in a number of species. They found that ovarian fluid is being secreted with the eggs which can help or hinder sperm swiftness depending of the male it came from.

“The females OF give off a bigger boost to some male’s sperm and not others, these speedier sperm have a significantly higher chance of winning the race to fertilize eggs and the resulting offspring have a better chance to survive as embryos’ (University of Otago). So the good side of this is that the males that are more fit and are more likely to survive have sperm that reacts to the ovarian in a way that will speed up the sperm to beat out the weaker not as fit salmon’s sperm. This in turn will keep the salmon strong and weed out the weaklings. Survival of the fittest in other words.

With this we can see that interfering with a salmons natural spawning can make things more complicated. For an example that I used last week, a fish ladder was put into Anan near Wrangell Alaska that in turn made it easier for all salmon to run up the rapids of the river. With all the weak and strong salmon in the slower paced river after the rapids, the female’s choice is no more. All males now have a chance to fertilize a set of eggs, which in turn canceled out survival of the fittest and those fish that would have normally not survived or bred had the chance to breed and made a group of weak salmon eggs that did not survive. “Additionally, after assessing the genetic quality of the males we found embryo survival was linked to being sired by high quality fathers’ (University of Otago).


Work Cited:

University of Otago. “First evidence found that ‘cryptic female choice’ is adaptive.” ScienceDaily, 23 March 2016. Web