Category Archives: fish

Mangalore: ‘Catfish is extinct in coastal Karnataka’


MANGALORE May 23: Excessive fishing in the coastal region has resulted in the extinction of fish species such as catfish, according to director of the Kochi-based Centre for Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) N.G.K. Pillai.

Mr. Pillai, who was here to participate in a seminar, told The Hindu that a few species, including catfish, had already disappeared from the seas, and many species of fish were on the threshold of “sustainable-level”. He said that about 15 years ago, Karnatakas coastal belt was known for catfish. “Although it is now found in the coasts of other States, including Kerala, it is not available in this region. There were two species of catfish in this region and both of them have disappeared,” he said.

Stating that excessive fishing had affected marine biodiversity, Mr. Pillai called for urgent measures to prevent further damage to the fish species.
Export declines

Mr. Pillai said export of marine products, in terms of quantity, was declining. Indian exporters were, on the one hand, not able to meet the norms laid down by importers in countries such as the U.S. in some cases and, on the other, they had to cope with competitors in Vietnam, China and Thailand, among others. These countries had taken up aquaculture in a big way, he added.

Besides, the Indian fishing industry should re-invent itself by diversifying and adding value to the products. It could produce and market the ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat kind of products. “Everyone is looking for such products, nowadays,” he said. Indian aqua culturists, whose exports stood at about 1.3 lakh tonnes a year, were facing the problem of disease and they were not able control it. Production cost of aquaculture products was higher in India than in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, he said.
New species

These countries cultivated a new species, “Vanemi”, which was easier to grow and resistant to diseases. There has been a demand to import this variety to try it out in India. That was yet to happen. Import of the species may lead to higher yield. Indian aquaculture industry was grew another species, “Tiger prawn” and “Vanemi” was an exotic species, Mr. Pillai said.

He said that he had instructed the scientists at Mangalore Research Centre of CMFRI to organise monthly interactions with fishermen and their leaders in villages so that they could identify new areas of research. On the complaints that research data of the centre were not easily accessible for public, Mr. Pillai said steps were being taken to address this issue.

Mr. Pillai inaugurated the seminar on “Biodiversity”, organised by the Mangalore Research Centre.

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Canadian pair pleads guilty to smuggling endangered fish into U.S.

 The Canadian Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A pair of Canadian citizens could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to charges they tried to smuggle endangered Asian fish into the United States.

Investigators say the couple from Toronto tried to enter the United States last August at the Rainbow Bridge in Buffalo.

They told inspectors they were going shopping and had nothing to declare.

Authorities say border agents found eight Asian arowana fish covered with newspaper in the back of the vehicle.

The fish, also called “Lucky Fish,” are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Investigators say they bought the fish in Canada and planned to sell them for $2,000 to a person from New York City they planned to meet on the New York State Thruway.

Jian-Cong Huang and Hsaio-Fang Yu, both of Toronto, pleaded guilty Thursday.

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Warning that bluefin tuna ‘face extinction’


BLUEFIN tuna are being pushed to the brink of extinction in the Mediterranean by far too many fishing vessels pursuing the remaining fish stocks, a report warned yesterday.
A study for conservation charity WWF says there needs to be an urgent reduction of the fleet, which has almost twice the fishing capacity of current quotas set for the increasingly threatened fish.

The yearly catch potential of hi-tech vessels is three and a half times the recommended level, the report says.

According to the conservationists, the “unsustainable” situation is largely the result of massive overfishing of the Mediterranean by what is known as “purse seine” fishing, in which nets are set around the shoal and then closed like a drawstring purse.

This method is fuelled by the increase in tuna farms, which take the catch and fatten the fish in cages for six months.


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Oregon’s Coho Return To Endangered Species List

Joseph Friedrichs – New West
Oregon’s coastal coho salmon have once again been placed on the endangered species list, after a recent ruling that found scientific evidence didn’t support delisting the fish.

According to an article in today’s Oregonian, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, a federal agency charged with restoring Northwest salmon, found the fish aren’t as resilient as they believed.

Coho were listed as threatened between 1998 and 2004, then was taken off the list in 2006 when NOAA Fisheries ruled that the coho are “not likely to become endangered” in the foreseeable future, the Oregonian reported.

More than a million coho once filled coastal rivers and streams, but similar to a dozen other spices of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, those numbers have declined dramatically.

As a result of Monday’s announcement, the federal protections could slow logging and other development along coastal rivers and streams where coho spawn.

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Sask. river sturgeon headed for extinction

Hanneke Brooymans – The Star Phoenix

EDMONTON — Canada’s largest freshwater fish could soon find itself on the endangered species list.

And in the North and South Saskatchewan River systems, which span the three Prairie provinces and part of Montana, the population of lake sturgeon — which once shared the planet with dinosaurs — has declined as much as 80 per cent, according to the federal government.

Ottawa is therefore considering using legislation to protect the large, bottom-feeding fish. To that end, it recently ran advertisements, soliciting public reaction to the idea.

But getting the sturgeon on the endangered list could be “very challenging,” said Fred Hnytka, a species-at-risk biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

For instance, it could be difficult to restrict how many are caught along some northern rivers, where First Nations people have a cultural attachment to the fish, Hnytka said.

Lake sturgeon are found in waterways from Alberta to Quebec. They can live for decades — some up to 100 years.

In Alberta alone, they once swam at 48 sites in the North Saskatchewan River and 30 in the South Saskatchewan River. They are now found at 16 and 12 sites, respectively.

In August, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recommended listing the sturgeon as endangered, blaming over-fishing and habitat loss from dam construction. Adding to the species’ problems is the late and infrequent spawning of its females.

“The species is just so vulnerable, you need to be extra cautious,” said Joe Nelson, a University of Alberta professor emeritus who wrote Fishes of Alberta. “That’s why I would come down in favour of it being listed.”

Terry Dick, a University of Manitoba zoology professor, said it’s a disgrace the species hasn’t been listed yet.

“It was wiped out in so many areas nearly 100 years ago, and we’re still debating it,” said Dick, who wrote the original proposal to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Dick said the government shouldn’t be worried about the challenges of dealing with First Nations, and should seek to involve them directly in the recovery plans.

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New fish quota to protect plaice and sole

For years European Union fishermen have seen a reduction in their fishing quotas. This is meant to keep the maritime species from dying out. Recently the situation has seen a slight improvement and the numbers of some species in European waters are stabilising. On Wednesday, the EU’s Executive Committee announced its recommended quotas for next year. The quotas will again be lowered and fewer fish will be caught than in previous years. The European fishing quotas are determined on the basis of advice given by various experts, including Dutch biologists, and the IMARES research institute which specialises in marine ecology research.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Two biologists are on their hands and knees on the deck of a ship sailing the Wadden Sea. They are searching for fish such as plaice, sole, whiting, crabs and shrimp – sometimes they even find a jellyfish. The boats fish at different spots during the day. According to Marcel de Vries of IMARES:

“Each year we fish at 130 fixed locations. We return every year and we compare what we find and what we caught in previous years.”

At every spot an enormous fishing net splashes into the sea, where it remains for 15 minutes. Sometimes the net is full of junk; other times it is teeming with fish.

Plaice and sole
Plaice and sole are the most important species in the Dutch fishing trade, which is why the study placed special emphasis on the two flatfish. Biologist Loes Bolle says the fishing expeditions are only a minor part of the extensive research which determines European Union advisory policies.

“We count fish in all Dutch waters, but the same happens in Germany, Belgium, England and Denmark. We also estimate how many fish are caught by fishermen. We combine the statistics in an attempt to determine how many fish can be caught without threatening the species’ survival.”

After the fish are counted on the Wadden Sea, each one is measured to determine the proportion of smaller and younger fish, or young and old.

Thankless task
In the course of the day the scientists spend many hours on their knees, counting and measuring hundreds of plaice and sole. But the work seems thankless, since the politicians will probably ignore their advice. Biologist Loes Bolle says they are more concerned about protecting the economic interests of the fishing industry, which means they’ll often allow an increase in the quotas.

“We give biologically responsible advice, in other words, we do our best to recommend how fish can be caught in a sustainable manner. We are attempting to help fishermen keep the population at a viable level so that the species can survive. The best course of action would be to ban fishing for the time being, but that is not realistic. We do our best to ensure that enough fish will survive so that the species do not become extinct. This will also guarantee that fishing does not become extinct.”

Biologists are recommending a reduction in the quota for plaice and sole in 2008. It’s now the politicians’ turn, beginning with the European Commission.

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WWF: Bigeye Tuna Overfished And In Danger Of Extinction


John Concepcion – AHN News Writer

Cambridge, United Kingdom (AHN) – Wildlife protection group WWF on Thursday said the bigeye tuna is on the brink of extinction because of excessive fishing.

The bigeye tuna, which is used to make sashimi and sushi, is one of the most common types of tuna popular in Japan, a country that consumes a quarter of the world’s supply of the fish.

A WWF statement read, “Bigeye tuna are under threat because authorities are failing to recognize the dire extent of overfishing.”

The group said in order to arrest the chilling trend, authorities in tuna-fishing countries should set a limit on the catch and set programs to restore the population of the bigeye tuna.

TRAFFIC, a monitoring group of the WWF and the IUCN-The World Conservation Union, said catching young or juvenile bigeye tuna reduces the availability of adults and compromises the stock because nothing will be breeding new young.

Glenn Sant, TRAFFIC’s Global Marine Program head, said “Instead they end up being worth a few cents in a can, and tuna stocks are on the verge of collapse. The biological and economic future of the bigeye tuna fishery is at serious risk.”


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