Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saving endangered whales at no cost

10.01.2007
By comparing the productivity of lobster fishing operations in American and Canadian waters of the Gulf of Maine, researchers have identified ways in which cost-saving alterations in fishing strategies can substantially reduce fishing-gear entanglements of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.

The findings appear in the January 9th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press, and are reported by Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, along with colleagues there and at the University of Rhode Island, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of New Hampshire.

Though it has been protected for more than 70 years, the North Atlantic right whale has been slow to recover from past exploitation, and extinction remains a threat. The whale is virtually extinct in Europe, but a small population of about 350 individuals remains on the east coast of North America. A leading threat to the species is lethal entanglement by fishing gear: Photographic evidence indicates that 75% of individuals show signs of entanglement, mostly from lobster fishing gear.

In the new work, the researchers analyzed the costs and benefits of two dramatically different lobster fishing strategies currently employed in the Gulf of Maine, the world's most important lobster-producing area. Compared to lobster fishing on the Gulf's Canadian side (known as Lobster Fishing Area 34), which occurs over a winter fishing season, American-side lobster fishing is year-round, and involves 8–9 times more lobster traps in the water at any given time. Despite these significant differences in fishing "effort" and cost, Maine has only about 30% higher catches than the Canadian Fishing Area. Accordingly, the researchers estimate that the number of traps used in Maine is 13 times greater than in the Canadian Fishing Area to harvest the same lobster catch. On the basis of these findings and estimations of seasonal whale presence determined by patterns of whale sightings, the authors estimate that, in terms of impact on right whales, each lobster caught in Canada has less than 1% of the impact of each lobster caught in Maine.

The authors propose that if Maine restricted its lobster fishing season to 6 months and reduced the number of traps by a factor of ten, the more optimal fishing strategy--including decreased costs and improved total income--would allow greatly reduced risk to the remaining right whales while providing benefit to fishermen.

The authors point out that the basic problem of huge excess effort in lobster fishing is characteristic of other aspects of fishing industries around the world--including shrimp and tuna longline industries that expend much more effort than needed to obtain optimal yields, while threatening turtles and non-targeted fish, including shark species, as bycatch.

Erin Doonan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>