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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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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DP bio cover

Daniel Pauly’s biography hits the bookstores

DP bio cover

Un Océan de Combats is the title of the book that recounts the life of the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Pauly.

The text, brilliantly written by oceanographer David Grémillet over the course of two years and after doing dozens of interviews over four continents, presents the extraordinary life story of a child born just after the Second World War to a working-class Frenchwoman and an African American GI– Daniel Pauly’s trajectory defies every expectation.

Un Océan de Combats brings to the forefront a scientist’s life-long struggle over the course of his extraordinary career to determine the magnitude and significance of overfishing.

The first accessible account of overfishing as a global issue, both for society and for the planet, this book draws the inevitable connection between the environmental crisis and the political and social inequality between the global North and the global South.

DP's bio

“An iconoclastic fisheries scientist who is so decidedly global in his life and outlook that he is nearly a man without a country.” THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Never afraid to ruffle feathers, Pauly is outspoken about ocean conservation and willing to point fingers at the huge multinational companies that control much of the world’s fishing industry.” NATURE

“Pauly’s insights into global fisheries provide an understanding of the root causes of our unsustainable ocean fishery and are an essential guide to sustain this vital resource.” DAVID SUZUKI

Fish at the Cholula market. Photo by Giulian Frisoni, Flickr.

World Oceans Day: Paying attention to marine fisheries

World Oceans Day happens to fall on the same month as the Sea Around Us’ anniversary month.

Initially proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, this day celebrates the ocean and its importance for all living creatures.

World Oceans Day provides also an opportunity for researchers, policymakers, and environmentalists to highlight the most urgent issues affecting the planet’s largest waterbody.

Since this June the Sea Around Us is celebrating not only World Oceans Day but also its 20th Anniversary, it seemed appropriate to reflect on the importance of paying attention to marine fisheries.