Navigation Links
Stanford professor maps by-catch as unintended consequence of global fisheries
Date:3/21/2014

Seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals such as dolphins may not appear to have much in common, other than an affinity for open water. The sad truth is that they are all unintended victims by-catch of intensive global fishing. In fact, accidental entanglement in fishing gear is the single biggest threat to some species in these groups.

A new analysis co-authored by Stanford biology Professor Larry Crowder provides an unprecedented global map of this by-catch, starkly illustrating the scope of the problem and the need to expand existing conservation efforts in certain areas.

"Some of the earliest by-catch issues involved marine mammals taken in purse seines (large nets with floats) and shrimp trawls that drowned sea turtles," said Crowder, who is the science director at the Center for Ocean Solutions and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "The problems were ultimately solved by scientists who clearly defined the problems and by managers and fishermen who sought innovative fishing methods to allow fisheries and protected species to coexist."

During the past half-century, fish hauls around the world have increased from about 19 million tons per year to more than 154 million tons per year. Beyond the problem of overfishing more than 60 percent of sea creatures brought up are classified as overfished or collapsed stocks by-catch can lead to "major changes in ecosystem function and process," the study's authors write. By-catch also damages fishing gear and wastes fishermen's time and money. Accurate data on global by-catch are hard to find because of the need for trained on-ship observers across vast oceans.

To fill the gap, Crowder and Rebecca Lewison, the lead author of the paper and a co-leader of the study, directed a research team that looked at hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, reports and symposia proceedings published between 1990 and 2008 to obtain a global perspective on what kinds of animals were being caught, where they were being caught and the types of gear in which they were trapped. They then compiled all of this information into a single comprehensive map and dataset.

"It highlights the importance of looking at the by-catch issue across different species, fishing gears and countries," said Lewison, an ecology professor at San Diego State University. "When you do that, it makes it clear that to address by-catch, fishing nations need to work together to report and mitigate by-catch. No single country can fix this."

The study revealed by-catch hotspots and gaps in available data, such as the lack of information on small-scale and coastal fisheries and many ocean regions that are heavily fished by commercial fleets. Among the findings:

Marine mammal by-catch is highest in the eastern Pacific and the Mediterranean.

Sea turtle by-catch is most prevalent in the southwest Atlantic, eastern Pacific and Mediterranean oceans.

Seabird by-catch is highest in the southwest Atlantic and Southern Indian oceans.

Expanding the use of by-catch mitigation tools such as turtle excluder devices is only part of the solution, according to the study's authors. Community engagement is key in less-regulated, small-scale fisheries. To make meaningful headway, researchers and managers need more data on the extent and distribution of global fishing. "Reducing by-catch levels in coastal fisheries sectors will require coordination across national boundaries using integrated approaches that link conservation action with sustaining human livelihoods, incentives and commitment to protecting the environment," the study's authors wrote.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rob Jordan, Stanford
rjordan@stanford.edu
650-721-1881
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
2. Keck award enables Carnegie Mellon and Stanford to dramatically expand crowdsourced RNA design
3. Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say Stanford and Purdue researchers
4. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
5. Americas clean energy policies need a reality check, say Stanford researchers
6. Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds
7. Stanford scientists document fragile land-sea ecological chain
8. Stanford researchers help predict the oceans of the future with a mini-lab
9. Stanford marine biologist Barbara Block wins Rolex Award for Enterprise
10. Stanford scientists find molecule to starve lung cancer and improve ventilator recovery
11. Stanford researchers calculate global health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Stanford professor maps by-catch as unintended consequence of global fisheries
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... Germany , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... - Cross reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ... from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity ... other biometric innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover ... scanner from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee ...
(Date:3/10/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... is testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa ... help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies ... run until May 2016. --> the United ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... RURO, Inc., a ... a minor release with several important advancements to ease data entry, enhance security, ... years, Limfinity® has become one of the most sought after options by large ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... Doctors in Italy say mesothelioma patients with the highest ... lower levels. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... and La Spezia, Italy tested the blood serum, tumors, and lung fluid of 45 ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... NeuMedics Inc. is pleased to announce that CEO Iain ... on June 2, 2016. The session begins at 1:10 PM and Iain will present ... successfully used as a topical agent and a treatment for ophthalmic complications of diabetes. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Doctors in Italy, ... of studies on the BRCA-1 associated protein (BAP1) gene and its link to malignant ... Click here to read the full article now. , The studies analyzed ...
Breaking Biology Technology: