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Blog Tags: Overfishing

New Shark Repellent May Keep Sharks from Becoming Bycatch

A new shark repellent may keep sharks from getting caught on longlines

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). Overfishing has led to serious declines in dusky shark population numbers. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s estimated that tens of millions of sharks die from incidentally being caught in fishing gear each year—more commonly known as bycatch—from longlines, trawls, and gillnets. Commercial pelagic longlines are particularly dangerous, dangling thousands of baited hooks into the water for extended periods of time, typically intending to catch swordfish, mackerel, and tuna.


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Ocean Roundup: Gulf of Mexico Sharks are Shrinking, Caribbean Reefs Capable of Being Saved, and More

Shark sizes are decreasing in the Gulf of Mexico

A tiger shark. Researchers say some shark species are decreasing in size in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo: Willy Volk / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Researchers say that some sharks in the Gulf of Mexico are decreasing in size, and in some cases are down by as much as 70 percent. The researchers analyzed data from annual shark rodeos over the last half century to come to the results, and say that finning and commercial fishing are significant factors in this decline. Houston Chronicle


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Oceana Supports Recent European Commission Moves to End Overfishing

Ten EU Member States are receiving penalties for overfishing

Early morning trawling vessels in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

The European Commission (EC) recently announced that ten Member States will be penalized for exceeding fishing quotas in 2013. Oceana supports the deductions in order to reverse the damage done to overfished stocks, and denounces the Member States’ failure to emplace sound control measures.


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Ocean Roundup: Vaquita Porpoise Needs Swift Protection, Atlantic Ocean behind Global Warming Slow Down, and More

The vaquita will go extinct if North America doesn't cooperate to save it

A vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus), the most endangered marine mammal. (Photo: "Vaquita5 Olson NOAA" by Paula Olson, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons) 

- New research shows that the Atlantic and Southern Oceans may just be behind the slowdown of sea surface temperatures increases after years of rapid warming. Scientists say that heat-storing greenhouse gases have sunk to the depths of these oceans, and not the Pacific as previously assumed. The Guardian


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Infographic: Here’s Why Dusky Sharks Need to Get off the Hook

Dusky shark populations have declined by 99 percent

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

Dusky sharks, a bronze-blue colored species found in warm coastal and open ocean waters, are in trouble. Populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico have plummeted by 99 percent over the past 40 years as a result of overfishing and bycatch — the capture of non-target fish and ocean wildlife.


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No-Take Zones in Belize Could Rebuild Conch, Lobster, and Grouper Populations

No-take zones could rebuild conch populations in Belize

Queen conch (Strombus gigas), a species that could rebuild with no-take zones in Belize. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Dave C.)

The islands of Belize are surrounded by vibrant blue waters, beautiful and unusual marine creatures, and the largest barrier reef system in the Western Hemisphere. But even in Belize—one of the least densely populated Caribbean countries—these marine animals and ecosystems are not exempt from exploitative human activities like overfishing. A new report, however, from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) suggests a solution for Belize’s marine life—and particularly coral reefs—to recover: expand no-take zones. 


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Hammerhead Shark Management Should Reflect Unique Evolutionary Traits, Scientists Say

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini)

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). (Photo: Oceana / Rob Stewart)

Known for their mallet-shaped heads, hammerhead sharks are one of the most easily recognized—and favored—shark species. Their “hammers” give them a widened-view to scan for food, and they have enhanced sensory organs that can detect electrical fields from their prey. If that doesn’t make hammerheads cool enough, they can grow to incredible sizes—reaching 20 feet in length and weighing up to 1,000 pounds.


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Ask Dr. Pauly: What are bycatch and discards?

(Photo: Oceana)

Ocean conservationists talk a lot about "bycatch" and "discards." But what exacty do these terms mean? In each issue of Oceana magazine, fisheries scientist and Oceana board member Dr. Daniel Pauly breaks down a commonly used fisheries term. In the recent issue, Dr. Pauly explains these technical terms and how they contribue to overfishing. 


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Ask Dr. Pauly: What are distant-water fishing fleets, and how do they affect overfishing?

(Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos) 

Maximum sustainable yield, bycatch and discards, exclusive economic zones, essential fish habitat. If you’ve ever read one of these terms and wondered what it meant, you’re in luck. In each issue of Oceana magazine, fisheries scientist and Oceana board member Dr. Daniel Pauly breaks down a commonly used fisheries term.


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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: EU Fishing Subsidies


Yesterday, Oceana released the results of a six-month study on European Union (EU) subsidies to the fishing sector since 2000, and the results were shocking. Our report showed that 4.9 billion euros in subsidies were granted in the form of “state aid” for the fishing sectors, with most of this €4.9 billion ($6.3 billion) fueling overfishing and environmentally harmful practices. Our estimates show that of this €4.9 billion, only 1% can be identified as beneficial to the marine environment. To add insult to grave environmental injury, despite the EU’s commitment to transparency, we found that information on how tax payer money is being spent and allocated to these fishing subsidies is both scarce and unclear.  


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