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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Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

Sea Around Us co-hosts successful CMSY workshop in Qingdao

Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

In June 2019, the Sea Around Us PI, Dr. Daniel Pauly, and Project Manager, Dr. Deng Palomares, co-hosted a successful, three-day workshop at the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) in Qingdao, a city on China’s Yellow Sea coast. They were assisted by graduate student Lu Zhai and long-time Sea Around Us collaborator Dr. Liang ‘Elsa’ Cui.

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Jellyfish fisheries research awarded by the Vancouver Aquarium

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 was a great day for the Sea Around Us’ postdoctoral fellow Lucas Brotz.

During the celebration of the 22nd Annual Coastal Ocean Awards, the Vancouver Aquarium presented Lucas with the Michael A. Bigg Award for student research “for his exceptional contributions to the understanding of jellyfish in waters around the world.” Specifically, judges were impressed with his global catch reconstruction of jellyfish as food for humans.

For Lucas, this honour closes with a flourish a decade’s worth of work under Daniel Pauly’s guidance and, at the same time, opens up new opportunities to continue exploring the almost uncharted world of jellyfish.

LISTEN to Lucas explaining the “shocking findings” regarding the amounts of jellyfish people eat worldwide.

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