Fishing

FISHING

Fishermen have been suffering from the consequences of overfishing for decades leading to what they perceive as ill-conceived regulations limiting their catches. The rising temperature of the oceans is now accelerating their problems as fish flee north and local populations of fish, mollusks, and other marine animals are disappearing at twice the rate of land-based species. In the ocean there are simply fewer places to duck the heat. 

The implications of this migration are great: almost half of 36 northwest Atlantic species have moved northward in the last 40 years as water temperatures have warmed. 

The economic effect on fishermen is profound. According to a study released in December, 2019, climate change was responsible for removing 16 percent of jobs in New England’s most afflicted fishing communities. 

Looking forward, a recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment warned that by mid-century, if greenhouse gas emissions continue at a high rate, 86% of U.S. marine ecosystems will experience combinations of temperature and acidity that have never before been experienced by modern species. 

In addition to migration, global warming is also affecting the ability of fish to reproduce. Atlantic cod populations, for example, could drop by as much as 60%And, in a study done in 2008 and released in 2010, a coalition of hunting and fishing organizations outlined the consequences of climate change on fish and wildlife in the US, with a strong focus on fish like trout and salmon in our rivers as they become drier and hotter.

CURRENT NEWS

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Highlight Article

We know how to save these beloved endangered whales. Yet we’re mindlessly killing them.

By Benji Jones 04/02/24
The story of the North Atlantic right whale, an icon of the East Coast, should be one of hope — a tale of recovery. Humanity’s strongest tools have been mobilized for their protection. For centuries,…
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Lobster catch dips to lowest level since 2009 as fishers grapple with climate change, whale rules

By Patrick Whittle 03/02/24
America’s lobster fishing business dipped in catch while grappling with challenges including a changing ocean environment and new rules designed to protect rare whales. The lobster industry, based mostly in Maine, has had an unprecedented…
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California’s commercial Dungeness crab season delayed for the sixth year in a row to protect whales

10/30/23
The start of the commercial Dungeness crab season in California has been delayed for the sixth year in a row to protect humpback whales from becoming entangled in trap and buoy lines.
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Climb aboard four fishing boats with us to see how America’s warming waters are changing

By Trevor Hughes 10/30/23
Alaskan fisherman Garrett Kavanaugh anxiously awaits the first catch of the season, hoping the Dungeness crabs he's chasing haven't suffered the same fate as the vanished snow crabs.
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The Salmon on Your Plate Has a Troubling Cost. These Farms Offer Hope.

By Melissa Clark 10/16/23
A revolution in the way Americans eat salmon is quietly being fomented inside a former factory building on the industrial edges of Auburn, a small city in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
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Lobstermen Face Hypoxia in Outer Cape Waters

By Georgia Hall 09/04/23
Alex Iacono, a lobsterman who says he favors lobsters and ocean solitude over people, is worried about the future of his business. Iacono, who lives in Truro and fishes out of Provincetown on the F/V…
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NOAA Is Rolling Out a Plan to Radically Expand Offshore Aquaculture. Not Everyone Is Onboard.

By Monique Brouillette 08/15/23
The cardboard gravestones read “RIP Local fisherman,” “RIP Wild Fish,” and “RIP Humpback Whales.” Assembled in response to new aquaculture sites planned off the coast of California, the gravestones were brought to the offices of…
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How Climate Change is Threatening Our Fisheries

By Jenn Thornhill Verma and Leila Beaudoin 08/03/23
Home is where the harvest is. And for coastal communities across Newfoundland and Labrador, the wild fisheries harvest of the North Atlantic ocean is as essential to local economies as it is to the lifestyles…
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Helping America Prepare and Respond to Climate Change Under the Inflation Reduction Act

08/02/23
NOAA has received historic funding under the Inflation Reduction Act: $3.3 billion. It will focus on ensuring America’s communities—including tribes, vulnerable populations, and the U.S. economy—are ready for and resilient to climate change.
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Climate change, marine debris taking a toll, says N.S. fisheries minister

By Kathy Johnson 07/20/23
It was on September 24, 2022, that post-tropical storm Fiona hit Nova Scotia with hurricane-force strength, causing over $385 million in insured damages.
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What climate change and extreme temperatures could mean for Bristol Bay salmon

By Jack Darrell and KDLG-Dillingham 07/19/23
This summer is a colder, rainier, and buggier season in Bristol Bay, and across Alaska. Meanwhile, last week the world faced four straight days of the hottest temperatures on record, marking Earth’s extreme warming.
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Large fish more vulnerable to climate change-induced fish kills, study finds

By Sea Around Us 07/18/23
Climate change-induced droughts and fish kills affect larger fish more severely than they affect smaller individuals, according to new research.
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KEY RESOURCES

2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture

07/29/22
The Lexicon and GSSI are launching a global call to action. Through a storytelling lab comprised of training modules and mentorship, we’re here to celebrate the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA…

Stories from the Sea: Fishermen Confront Climate Change

02/02/22
Fishermen in the North Pacific intimately understand the ocean, and they've noticed that once-reliable stalwarts like seasonal patterns and fish migration routes are changing alongside a warming climate. The Nature Conservancy in Alaska gathered their…

What Is The Environmental Impact Of The Fishing Industry?

02/13/20
Oceans of the world may be fishless by 2048, and unmonitored and irresponsible fishing practices are being held as one of the major culprits behind this potential disaster.

The Dangers of Industrial Ocean Fish Farming

01/01/18
The seafood business is booming. It comprises over 16% of the protein we eat worldwide, the majority of which is farmed. In the last 30 years, global fish farm production increased from 5 million to…

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide

08/26/15
Five ways to ensure the fish you eat is healthy for you and for the environment.

James Beard Foundation Smart Catch

08/29/19
Smart Catch is an educational sustainable seafood program created by chefs for chefs with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. With more than 90 percent of the world's fisheries either…

World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers

08/29/19
World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers (WFF) is an international organization that brings together small scale fisher organization for the establishment and upholding of fundamental human rights,social justice and culture of artisanal /small…

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

08/29/19
NOAA provides timely and reliable information based on sound science to communities and businesses every day. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce,…

Monterey Bay Aquarium

08/29/19
The ocean sustains all life on Earth. From the air we breathe to the seafood we eat, our very survival depends on healthy seas. The Aquarium's Conservation & Science programs are tackling some of the…

Marine Fish Conservation Network

08/29/19
For the last two decades, the Marine Fish Conservation Network has united fishermen, conservationists, scientists and citizens around a shared mission: conserving and revitalizing wild ocean fisheries.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

06/24/19
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an international nonprofit organization recognizing and promoting responsible fish farming practices through their certification program. In collaboration with scientists, conservation groups, aquaculture producers, seafood processors, and retail companies, ASC…

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

06/24/19
The Foundation is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, working with communities to conserve and expand those special places for a healthy ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. Working together, we safeguard species and the…

Greenwave

01/07/19
After 15 years of experimentation, we have developed a new method of ocean farming designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen — while providing healthy, local food for…

MORE NEWS

EVEN MARINE PROTECTED AREAS ARE IN HOT WATER

By Sonia Fernandez   07/14/23  
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are locations in the ocean where human activities such as fishing are restricted to conserve and protect marine ecosystems, habitats, species, and cultural resources. The study, part of a 10-year review…
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Australia alert to looming fisheries climate threat but yet to act

By Petra Stock   07/11/23  
As the US national fisheries service updates its climate action plans, conservationists say Australian regulators are alert to the “looming crisis” but yet to proactively manage the impacts of climate change on fisheries.
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Seafood industry joins chorus of groups calling for halt to deep-sea mining plans

By Karen McVeigh   07/11/23  
Seafood groups representing a third of the world’s tuna trade as well as major supermarket suppliers are the latest groups to call for a pause on deep-sea mining, after a new study published today showed…
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Climate change is transforming our oceans. Can fisheries management adapt?

By Tyler Eddy and Andrea Bryndum- Buchholz   07/10/23  
Newfoundland’s northern cod was once thought to be an inexhaustible resource. In fact, much of the province’s history and culture continues to be linked with this iconic species. But in the 1990s, the northern cod…
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Two Sustainable Brands Riding The Trendy Wave Of Tinned Seafood

By Claudia Alarcon   06/27/23  
As National Ocean Month ends, momentum toward proper stewardship of our marine resources keeps growing, as companies partner with fisheries and scientists to ensure we take only what we need and replenish what we take.…
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Study: More than 90% of global aquaculture faces substantial risk from effects of climate change

By Responsible Seafood Advocate   06/27/23  
Many of the world’s largest aquatic food producers are highly vulnerable to human-induced climate change, with some of the highest-risk countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa demonstrating the lowest capacity for adaptation, a landmark…
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Climate, environmental change puts 90% of world’s marine food at risk, study says

By David Stanway   06/26/23  
More than 90% of the world's marine food supplies are at risk from environmental changes such as rising temperatures and pollution, with top producers like China, Norway and the United States facing the biggest threat,…
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Thousands of dead fish have washed up on a Thai beach. Experts say climate change may be to blame

By Reuters and Laura Paddison   06/23/23  
Climate change may have stimulated a plankton bloom that caused thousands of dead fish to wash up along a roughly 4 kilometer (2.5 mile) stretch of beach in Thailand’s southern Chumphon province on Thursday, an…
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U.S. Approves Sustainable Way to Catch Swordfish Off West Coast

By Gillian Lyons   06/22/23  
Advancing a new, more sustainable fishing method from concept to commercial use is no small feat. But after a decade of collaboration among scientists, fishermen, fishing communities, fishery managers, and conservation organizations, the National Oceanic…
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20 Best Sustainable Seafood To Buy And Eat

By Sara Klimek   06/15/23  
Sustainable is one of the most popular buzzwords used in the modern climate and culinary lexicon. How do you decide what classifies a food or item as sustainable and if those measures justify purchasing it?
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Marine Fish Are Moving Towards the Poles Due to Climate Change

05/31/23  
Analysing the breadth of current world-wide data on marine fish changes in recent years, researchers from the University of Glasgow have revealed how fish populations across the Earth’s oceans are responding to rising sea temperatures.
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Redfish, bluefish, no fish: Climate change threatens traditional fishing waters

By Wes Wolfe   05/17/23  
The chances of climate change causing significant disruption to saltwater fisheries are pretty high, according to a NOAA Fisheries climate vulnerability assessment that’s on its way to finalization.
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Offshore Wind and Fishing: How Two Ocean Industries Will Coexist Off America’s Coasts

05/03/23  
Much ado has been made about potential conflicts between fishing interests and offshore wind, but already the two industries–along with state, federal, and local governments–are engaged in collaborative efforts to ensure they can thrive together…
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U.S. marine fish stocks show improvements in 2022

04/27/23  
Today, NOAA released the 2022 Status of Stocks report, providing a snapshot of the more than 490 fish stocks managed by NOAA Fisheries. Maintaining sustainable fisheries contributes significantly to the U.S. economy, provides important recreational…
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Collaborating to finance the transition to more sustainable fisheries worldwide

04/26/23  
The global seafood sector is vital to food security, nutrition, and income for people around the world. According to OECD, more than three billion people around the world rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.…
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ISSF audit finds 23 of 25 seafood companies compliant with sustainable fishing measures

By Nathan Strout   04/26/23  
Twenty-three of 25 companies partnered with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) were operating in 100 percent compliance with the organization’s sustainable fishing measures, according to a new report.
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3 Women Making A Difference To Create A More Sustainable Seafood Industry

By Claudia Alarcon   04/18/23  
The ocean is a vital part of life on our planet. It provides daily protein for over a billion people, is a reliable source of food for billions more, and 200 million people are employed…
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California Salmon Stocks Are Crashing. A Fishing Ban Looks Certain

By Catrin Einhorn   04/03/23  
This week, officials are expected to shut down all commercial and recreational salmon fishing off California for 2023. Much will be canceled off neighboring Oregon, too.
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Adaptive fisheries responses may lead to climate maladaptation in the absence of access regulations

By Jennifer Beckensteiner and Others   03/29/23  
Adaptive fishery responses to climate-induced changes in marine fish populations may lead to fishery maladaptation. Using a stylised bio-economic model of the global fishery, we demonstrate the importance of adaptive management regimes. We show how…
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Why sea creatures are washing up dead around the world

By Rachel Pannett   03/29/23  
Dead fish in Florida. Beached whales in New Jersey. Sea urchins, starfish and crayfish washing ashore in New Zealand. Millions of rotting fish clogging up a river in the Australian outback. A mass fish die-off…
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Recreational fishermen could be ‘untapped allies’ in the fight against climate change, Northeastern research says

By Cynthia McCormick Hibbert   03/03/23  
Nature lovers tend to be categorized as either “appreciative” or “extractive.” The first group includes people like hikers and bird watchers, while the second includes hunters, fishermen and fisherwomen.
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When wild dolphins help humans fish, both benefit

By Alissa Greenberg   02/04/23  
Along the coast of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, fishing is a way of life. But not just any kind of fishing. For the last 150 years, the fishers of the city of Laguna have…
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Small-scale octopus fishery operations enable environmentally and socioeconomically sustainable sourcing of nutrients under climate change

By David F. Willer and Others   01/26/23  
Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) have been identified as an invaluable component in delivering food security, particularly in developing nations, and are vital to coastal economies1. Worldwide SSFs make up 24% of the fishing sector (2017)2, yet…
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Overfishing, Conservation, Sustainability, and Farmed Fish

By Coty Perry   12/21/22  
As with many other aspects of government policy, overfishing and other fishing-related environmental issues are a real problem, but it’s not clear that government intervention is the solution. Indeed, it might be one of the…
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Indigenous ‘sea gardens’ could protect shellfish in an acidifying ocean

By Jen Schmidt   12/08/22  
It’s low tide in Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, California, and Hannah Hensel is squishing through thick mud, on the hunt for clams. The hinged mollusks are everywhere, burrowed into the sediment, filtering seawater…
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The Missing Mammal That May Have Shaped California’s Kelp Forests

By Oliver Whang   12/05/22  
Researchers claim that the behavior of a massive extinct herbivore, the Steller’s sea cow, might inform conservation efforts of threatened ecosystems today....
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New milestone in battle against illegal, unregulated fishing

11/07/22  
The Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) is the first internationally binding instrument specifically designed to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing by denying port access to foreign vessels that engage in or support such…
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Connecticut’s Shellfish Population Gets a Boost With State’s First Restoration Guide

By Aaron Kornbluth and Others   08/11/22  
Over the past century, populations of shellfish on the East Coast—particularly of the native Eastern oyster—have declined to a fraction of their previous numbers due to overharvesting, water pollution, disease, and habitat destruction. But there…
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Major New Zealand salmon producer shuts farms as warming waters cause mass die-offs

By Tess McClure   05/26/22  
New Zealand’s biggest king salmon farmer says it is shutting some of its farms after warming seas prompted mass die-offs of fish, warning that it is a “canary in the coalmine” for climate change.
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Can Small Seaweed Farms Help Kelp Scale Up?

By Lynn Fantom   03/16/22  
While some farms plan to grow massive quantities of kelp, Atlantic Sea Farms is counting on Maine’s small-scale fishermen to expand the industry and distribute ownership.
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New ‘Guide to Permitting Marine Aquaculture in the United States’ Outlines Federal Process

02/28/22  
This guide was created to assist individuals with navigating the federal permitting process for marine aquaculture for finfish, shellfish, invertebrates, and seaweed. It outlines the key requirements necessary to obtain federal permits to conduct commercial…
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Mercury in Fish: How Did It Get There and What To Do About It?

By Coty Perry   01/31/22  
Over the past several decades there has been a growing awareness of mercury in commercially available fish. In fact, mercury levels have climbed 30 percent in the last 20 years in the Northern Pacific alone.…
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As waters warm and the lobster population booms off Canada, tensions rise between Indigenous and commercial fishermen

By David Abe   01/21/22  
Under the close watch of federal officers on surrounding patrol vessels, Robert Sack navigated his old boat toward his clandestine traps in the cold waters that his people have fished for centuries, expecting to be…
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High court keeps limits on lobster fishing to protect whales

By Patrick Whittle   12/03/21  
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday against Maine lobster fishermen who sought to block new fishing restrictions that are designed to protect rare whales...
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Humans Have Broken a Fundamental Law of the Ocean

By Matt Reynolds   11/23/21  
ON NOVEMBER 19, 1969, the CSS Hudson slipped through the frigid waters of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia and out into the open ocean. The research vessel was embarking on what many of the marine…
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Ready to Kelp: How the ‘Kelp Bill’ Unlocked a Potential Game Changer in the Climate Fight

By Scarlett Buckley   11/09/21  
Kelp, a species of seaweed sometimes called “the rainforest of the sea,” could be a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change. Despite this, the commercial cultivation of kelp in Long Island, New York…
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The most comprehensive study ever reveals which are the greenest ‘blue foods’

By Emma Bryce   10/08/21  
What is the role of fish in a sustainable food future? Compared to other food groups, we have limited knowledge about the environmental impact of blue foods when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and…
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U.S. Fishermen Are Making Their Last Stand Against Offshore Wind

By Alejandro de la Garza   09/30/21  
A few hundred yards south of the fishing boat docks at the Port of New Bedford in southeastern Massachusetts, workers will soon start offloading gigantic turbine components onto a wide expanse of gravel. Local trawlers…
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A California fisherman sails the choppy waters of climate change and drought

By Hailey Branson-Potts   09/01/21  
Not everyone believed in Captain Dan. Other fishermen chuckled when he started giving boat tours of Noyo Harbor. Who would pay for a ride in a busy port, with its foul-mouthed sailors, its harbor seals…
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Seaweed Farming: Could This Carbon-Negative Crop Help Restore Our Oceans?

By Katherine Gallagher   08/09/21  
China has been cultivating seaweed for about 1,700 years. Coastal populations harvested a wide variety of the algae first as a source of food and animal feed, but later for industrial purposes and nutritional supplements…
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Climate change: Oceans are in a ‘death spiral’ with world leaders ‘dragging their feet’, Greenpeace warns

By Thomas Moore   06/08/21  
The oceans are in a "death spiral" from climate change and destructive fishing, with world leaders doing little to stop it, an environmental pressure group has warned. Greenpeace says the chemistry of the water is…
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4 seaweed startups combating food insecurity and climate change

By Walé Azeez   06/08/21  
We’re all familiar with the role forests play when it comes to providing a sustainable source of food, energy and raw materials, and locking away CO2 emissions. But perhaps we’re less knowledgeable about the potential…
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Genetically modified salmon head to US dinner plates

By Casey Smith Associated Pres   05/28/21  
NDIANAPOLIS -- The inaugural harvest of genetically modified salmon began this week after the pandemic delayed the sale of the first such altered animal to be cleared for human consumption in the United States, company…
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U.S. urges change in fishing practices to save endangered whales

05/28/21  
U.S. commercial fishing practices must change to prevent the extinction of North Atlantic right whales, the administration of President Joe Biden said on Thursday, as it prepares a list of new regulations to prevent whale…
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Farmed Atlantic Salmon Likely Passed Virus to Wild Pacific Salmon

By Abby Olena   05/27/21  
Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are important to the fishing industry, Indigenous peoples, and endangered local populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca), but several salmon species have declined to the point of near extinction. To meet the…
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Dutch Harbor is nation’s top fishing port for 23rd straight year

By Hope McKenney and KUCB - Unalaska   05/27/21  
Dutch Harbor has been named the nation’s top fishing port by volume of seafood landed for the 23rd consecutive year. The Aleutians East Borough — including Akutan, False Pass, Sand Point and King Cove —…
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Global Fishing Watch opens doors on new MPA management portal, transshipment data

By Mark Godfrey   05/27/21  
Global Fishing Watch, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the sustainability of our ocean through increased transparency of human activity at sea, is seeking to improve science-based management of marine protected areas with a…
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Ending harmful fisheries subsidies would improve the health of our ocean. This is why

By Maria Damanaki   05/25/21  
More than one-third of all fish stocks are fished at unsustainable levels, degrading biodiversity, and devastating the future of fisheries and fishermen. Despite this, many governments around the world continue to spend taxpayer money to…
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Fish ‘not as carbon friendly’ as previously thought

By Darin Graham   05/24/21  
Previous research indicated that seafood has a smaller carbon footprint than other animal proteins, because fishing doesn't require farmland or the care of livestock. But a new study claims that catching fish using heavy nets…
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What is the most sustainable seafood to eat in the UK?

By Sustainable Food Trust Staff   05/24/21  
The recent release of Seaspiracy (see a review) has had a huge impact on what we think we can and cannot eat in terms of seafood. The rising awareness it has triggered around the desperate state of our…
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