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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How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

Tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Japan. Photo by Humanoid one, Wikimedia Commons.

Appearing in everything from sushi rolls to sandwiches, tuna are among the world’s favourite fish. But are our current tuna fishing habits sustainable?

Probably not, according to a new global database of tuna catches created by researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Western Australia.

In a study published in Fisheries Research, scientists from the Sea Around Us initiative found that global tuna catches have increased over 1,000 per cent in the past six decades, fueled by a massive expansion of industrial fisheries.

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New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity -- and deplete fish stocks faster

New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity — and deplete fish stocks faster

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Technological advances are allowing commercial fishing fleets to double their fishing power every 35 years and put even more pressure on dwindling fish stocks, new research has found.

Researchers from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia analyzed more than 50 studies related to the increase in vessels’ catching power and found that the introduction of mechanisms such as GPS, fishfinders, echo-sounders or acoustic cameras, has led to an average two per cent yearly increase in boats’ capacity to capture fish.

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