Dogfish Fisheries: Too Successful for Their Own Good?

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Things had been going pretty well for U.S. dogfish fisheries.  In June 2010, after half a decade of an essentially closed fishery, the U.S. Atlantic stock was considered rebuilt.  Shortly after, representatives of the fishery petitioned and successfully received sustainability certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  Meanwhile, the west coast fishery received MSC certification for a very low-quota, hook and line fishery for Pacific spiny dogfish.  On both coasts, spiny dogfish had gone from a species in peril to an apparently “green” seafood choice.

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Posted in conservation, fisheries management, MSC, seafood, spiny dogfish, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Science Online Oceans: Storify Recap of #ScioFisheries

Here it is folks, the epic Storify of the session co-lead by Ann and I at Science Online Oceans.  It was a blast, and hopefully sometime soon I’ll get a chance to put up highlights of everyone else’s sessions as well.

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Dogfish on Tour: Science Online Oceans

This weekend I’ll be making my first official public appearance since AES back in July, and this time it’ll be a bit of a change of pace.  I’ll be heading down to sunny Miami for the inaugural Oceans edition of ScienceOnline.  When not lounging on the beach or developing raging marine lab envy at the University of Miami, I’ll be co-moderating the session “Social Media in the Fisheries Management Sector” with Beach Chair Scientist Ann McElhatton.  We’ll be covering the use of social media to communicate with fishers and other industry groups and the importance of keeping those lines of communication open.  To get an idea of where I’m coming from on this topic, check out these posts on working with fishermen.  That said, this is a discussion session and it’ll be boring if all the stories come from me (I’m assuming Ann will also be more interesting than me).  Anyone who is interested in working with fishers or has worked with the industry are welcome, as are any scientists who have collaborated with other types of stakeholder (I knew a few deep sea scientists who have worked with the oil and deep-sea mining industries, for example).

I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some old friends and making new ones, so feel free to say hi.  Also, anyone familiar with Miami (specifically the area near Coconut Grove and/or the UM main campus) with tips on cool stuff to check out, let me know in the comments section.

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A Practical Guide to Making Sharks Puke

A funny thing happened since the last time I posted: a paper of mine got published.  As of last week, this paper on evaluating a nonlethal way of collecting shark stomach contents has been available via Google Scholar.  Authored by myself, my advisor, and a member of my MS committee, this represents my first official publication and the first part of my dogfish work to survive the peer review process.

Because not everyone might have access to the journal (especially if you aren’t currently affiliated with a university or research institute), I tried to cram as much of the important stuff into the abstract as possible.  For the sake of brevity I had to gloss over the details regarding the methods.  With that in mind, this post will serve as a quick guide to puking a shark, and will also include some interesting “liner notes” about the study.

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Shark Week Gets the “Mermaids” Treatment

So I’m settled in to enjoy this year’s Shark Week, my second favorite shark-related time of the year (AES having taken over at first), and notice with some trepidation that the week is kicking off with a “documentary” on modern day attacks by Carcharocles megalodonMegalodon was a 50-60-foot member of the mackerel shark family (great whites, porbeagles, and makos being the best-known modern members) that regularly attacked and consumed whales and is now very much extinct.   The premise of tonight’s Shark Week programming was that these giant sharks have been hiding out in the deep sea, waiting for the right combination of climate change, geological events, and whale populations to re-emerge and start munching on the occasional fishing boat.  Basically, Discovery saw the reaction to the two Mermaids mockumentaries and the lesson they learned was that they need more of that.

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Posted in dorkiness, Ocean of Pseudoscience, rant, sharks, video, wtf | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

AES 2013: Day 4

Today was the fourth and last day of presentations for this year’s AES.  The real shark week ended with a bang, featuring this year’s only concurrent pair of shark sessions.  As a result, I definitely missed some talks I wanted to see in order to see other talks I was looking forward to.  Here’s the recap:

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AES 2013: Day 3

Day 3 of AES included pretty much all the talks up for the Gruber award, an award given to the best student presentation.  Holy crap there were some good talks today.  My talk was among them, and having seen my competition, I will gracefully concede to whoever wins.  Some of the talks were also about spiny dogfish, and you know that always gets me excited.  Here’s what I found interesting today:

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AES 2013: Days 1 & 2

Here it is, the first official recap post of this year’s AES.  I lack both a smartphone and the Twitter vigor of Dave, so I generally throw all the things that piqued my interest into one big post at the end of the day.  It’ll be a doozy, since I didn’t manage to find time yesterday to recap Day 1′s talks.  It should be noted that these recaps reflect the talks and posters that I found interesting, which totally reflects my own biases, so if you were at the conference and caught a talk I didn’t mention, feel free to plug it in the comments.

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AES 2013 Has Begun


It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, time for the annual American Elasmobranch Society (AES) conference.  This annual gathering of shark and ray nerds is always a highlight of my summer, and posting highlights from the presentations is an annual tradition.  Keep checking back here for updates on stuff that piques my interest, and if you’re at the conference feel free to check out my talk later this week.

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Dogfish Puke on the Beach

Friend of mine?  Why, yes.

You may have noticed that it’s been two and half months since something went up here.  I can assure you, I’ve been a busy little grad student in that time.  One of the reasons is that I’ve been working on a couple of field/lab projects that have by necessity eaten up big chunks of my time.  Now that the time-consuming parts are done, I can share the recap with you.  For this post, I’ll run through a short-term project I worked on back in March, in which I returned to my roots by making some spiny dogfish puke.

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Posted in aquaculture, ecology, fisheries management, grad school, gut contents, methods, North Carolina, spiny dogfish | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment