Shark Week 2012 Preview

It’s getting to be that time of year again.  Shark Week, the seven-day Super Bowl for shark nerds and casual viewers alike, is celebrating its 25th year this summer.  This year it runs a little later than usual (probably to avoid conflicting with that little…

Notes on Some of Those 79 “New” Shark Species

By now it’s somewhat old news that a recent study by Gavin Naylor and other researchers from all over (freely available here) has revealed that there may be up to 79 previously undiscovered shark and ray species, which complicates conservation and fisheries management considerably.  This…

Declining Predators eat Mediterranean Jellies

It wasn’t my intention to keep picking on the Mediterranean, but this paper was just too damn interesting.  In the Mediterranean, like many other marine environments worldwide, numbers of jellyfish and ctenophores (those really colorful comb jellies, actually not related to jellyfish) have recently exploded. …

How Italy Ate Up All Its Sharks

As dramatically imperfect as U.S. fisheries management can be, I still stand by my stance that we have the best-managed fisheries in the world.  Fishermen gripe about it being too restrictive and quick to change, conservationists complain about it being too lenient and slow to…

Enjoying Seafood While Knowing Too Much

I freely admit that I enjoy seafood.  I grew up in New England, where the American seafood industry was practically invented, and now live in North Carolina, where the confluence of cold and warm water at Cape Hatteras makes for some of the richest fishing…

The Case Against Dolphin-Safe Tuna

Here’s another shining example of a post I should have had up a week ago before life intervened.  Last week the World Trade Organization ruled that the dolphin-safe label on canned tuna unfairly discriminates against Mexican fishermen.  The debate could result in trade sanctions against…

NOAA/NMFS Not Actually Culling Sharks and Whales

Just to clarify, that previous post was intended to be an April Fool’s joke.  Apparently it was a lot more convincing than my “pictures of dogfish attacking a pelican” post from last year, and is now threatening to go viral as a legitimate news story. …

NOAA/NMFS Plans to Reduce “Problem Species” Populations

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is often painted by fishermen as a rabidly pro-conservation agency hell-bent on putting them out of a job by protecting every species they used to fish.  However, leaked internal memos show that the agency is taking a turn back…

Spiny Dogfish Quotas Go Up for 2012

Just a quick dogfish fishery news post for your Friday afternoon.  NMFS has released the spiny dogfish quota for the 2012 fishing season, and as expected the quota has gone up.  This year (starting May 1st) the dogfish quota will be set at 35.694 million…

Sustainability for Atlantic Spiny Dogfish?

This week the U.S. Atlantic spiny dogfish fishery took another step towards becoming the second shark or ray fishery ever to earn a sustainability certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  The first was the Pacific spiny dogfish fishery, which turned out to be a…