Until recently, scientists provided fishery managers only such limited data as stock counts and catch estimates, said Charles Greene, Cornell professor of ocean sciences and lead author of the study published in the March issue (Vol. 22, No. 1) of the journal Oceanography.
But new advances in miniature sensors and fish-tracking tags, ocean observing systems and computer models are providing much more insight into environmental changes and how fish are responding behaviorally and biologically to such changes, thereby enabling better modeling to predict fish populations. As a result, researchers are making more informed recommendations for strategies to address falling fish populations.
Obtaining real-world data is essential, stressed Greene. "Many of the commercial fish populations in the world are pretty highly depressed. It's a bleak picture in terms of the status of many wild marine fish populations."
For example, the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery, which can garner more than $15,000 per fish, is managed as two separate stocks, one in the eastern Atlantic basin, with a breeding ground in the Mediterranean, and another in the western basin, with a breeding ground in the Gulf of Mexico. Both stocks are not sustainably harvested, and the western population has declined by roughly 90 percent over the last 25 years, despite strict quotas.
A project known as Tag A Giant (TAG) uses an implanted tag in the tuna to record external pressure, internal and external temperature and ambient light, though the tuna must be recaptured to recover these data. TAG also uses a pop-up tag that is attached to the tuna but self releases, floats to the surface and transmits data on each tuna's external conditions via satellite. The tags help researchers estimate geo-locations and track each fish's daily movements.
According to the study, new TAG data have revealed that as tuna grow, they swim all over the Atlantic, and that the fish from the two stocks commingle. Past failure to account for this mixing of the two stocks has led to unsustainable management practices, especially for tuna originating in the Gulf of Mexico, Greene said. New strategies must account for mixing stocks, since fishing in the eastern basin has undermined the quotas and recovery plans for the western basin stock.
With regard to Pacific salmon, fishery managers have assumed that juveniles traveling from spawning grounds to the ocean face great mortality along heavily dammed rivers, like the Snake-Columbia river system, than in undammed rivers. Thus, they collected juveniles and transported them past the Snake-Columbia river system's eight dams before releasing them downstream. However, adult salmon numbers returning from the ocean did not increase.
The Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking project, which tagged juvenile fish, showed that the smaller, less developed fish were dying in high numbers in the lower river and coastal ocean. This kind of knowledge will help managers test and adapt their strategies in wild-fish systems, which historically have been hard to monitor.
This work was supported by more than a dozen entities, including the Gordon and Betty Moore, Packard, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Sloan foundations, and the Bonneville Power Administration.
Blaine Friedlander | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Climate change > Gulf > Overfishing > Pacific Ocean > Snake-Columbia river system > computer model > computer models > environmental change > fish populations > fish's daily movements > fish-eye views > fish-tracking tags > miniature sensors > ocean observing systems > wild marine fish populations
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences