Popular fish in China would increase in value if they were caught with larger meshes

Popular fish in China would increase in value if caught with larger meshes

Popular fish in China would increase in value if they were caught with larger meshes

Largehead hairtail. Public domain photo.

Fish that are highly valued by Chinese consumers, such as largehead hairtail, would grow in value and in the amounts that are caught if industrial fisheries increased the mesh size of their nets.

New research by the Sea Around Us initiative at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries found that trawlers operating in China’s coastal waters are overfishing 21 economically important species because the mesh size is so small that, together with large, desirable fish, undersized fish are also getting caught. This means that fish are being taken out before they are able to reproduce.

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China’s Bohai Sea left with only tiny fish

China’s Bohai Sea left with only tiny fish

China’s Bohai Sea left with only tiny fish

Japanase sardinella. Image by Totti, Wikimedia Commons.

Smaller fish and invertebrates, such as gazami crab or Japanese sardinella, are replacing larger, more commercially valuable fish such as largehead hairtail in the Bohai Sea in northeastern China.

A new study by scientists with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries shows that industrial fisheries have severely affected food webs in the Bohai Sea, with organisms that occupy lower levels in the food web becoming more common than larger predators.

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Figuring out how humans have impacted biodiversity through time

Figuring out total human impacts on biodiversity

Figuring out how humans have impacted biodiversity through time

Gulf grouper. Photo by Alfredo Barroso, Wikimedia Commons.

How much have humans affected the population of other species on the planet? A new methodology for documenting the cumulative human impacts on biodiversity aims to answer this question.

Dubbed EPOCH -for Evaluation of Population Change- the methodology was developed by a group of scientists from universities in Europe, Asia, and North America. It provides a standardized framework for organizing disperse data on individual species or populations of animals and plants that have been affected by urbanization, pollution, fishing, hunting, over-harvesting, and other anthropogenic activities.

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