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Sustainable Canadian Snow Crab Fishery is Protected Through Effective Enforcement Measures

Posted by on Friday, April 18th, 2014 with 0 Comments

One of the most severe problems with overfishing across the globe is enforcement. Every country can make as many fishing laws as seems plausible to protect commercial and recreational seafood species, but they will have no effect unless the laws are observed by fishermen and are enforced by the government.

snow crab

Three snow crab fishermen were caught exceeding their crab pot limits and inaccurately reporting their catch in fishing logs.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Boris Kasimov.

The protection of our natural resources doesn’t stop at just creating a law – it depends on the cooperation of fishermen and the ability of the government to regulate and punish those that break laws. Canada has shown us recently that they will not tolerate abuse of natural resources from fishermen. The government has convicted three men of exceeding the crab pot limit for the snow crab fishery. Their punishment not only will deter these men from committing future illegal acts, but they will serve as an example for others to understand the consequences of violating laws set in place to protect natural resources.

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The Marine Mammal Center’s Youth Crew Exposes Students to Volunteerism, Career Development and Ocean Conservation

Posted by on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 with 0 Comments

Nestled in the coastal hills of the Marin Headlands of Sausalito, lies an amazing facility dedicated to providing veterinary care for sick, injured, and orphaned marine mammals. The Marine Mammal Center is the largest marine mammal hospital of it’s kind in the world. With a volunteer base of 1,000 individuals, TMMC rescues seals, sea lions, dolphins, and even whales along 600 miles of the California coastline.

Along with veterinary medicine and research, TMMC engages the public in education and offers youth the unique opportunity to gain hands on experience with these marine mammals over a span of five months. Such an intensive program leaves students with an excellent skill set, better preparing them to pursue science-based careers. It also allows them to make connections with other like-minded youth and people who are already engaged in science, education, and veterinary care. Our chat with Deirdre Denmon, coordinator of TMMC’s youth crew, helped us understand this competitive program and what youngters gain from participating.

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Pathways to Sustainability: Seafood Industry Leaders Form Partnerships to Strengthen the Salmon Aquaculture Industry

Posted by on Monday, April 14th, 2014 with 2 Comments

Establishing partnerships and making connections is a vital part of growth for every industry. A business simply cannot survive without collaboration, and partnerships provide an excellent avenue to develop new techniques, provide better products, and increase overall success. Competition between organizations often prevents their collaboration within a common area of interest – yet a joint venture between competitors can often be the greatest partnerships that foster the most positive growth.

partnerships

The global salmon aquaculture industry is working towards establishing a sustainable protein source for the world’s growing population.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Missy.

A movement of partnerships between competitors is growing in the seafood industry. These competitors have recognized that by working together towards a common goal – in this case, ensuring a sustainable future for salmon aquaculture – they can accomplish so much more than they would by working on their own. These organizations publicly discussed their collaboration for the first time during the largest seafood trade event in North America.

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The Maine Lobster Industry Recognizes Impending Problems and is Acting Now to Implement Better Management Strategies

Posted by on Friday, April 11th, 2014 with 0 Comments

The ability to recognize a problem before it ever begins is a trait that every industry would benefit from. This is an invaluable characteristic that allows businesses to thrive and continue providing high quality products for their consumers, while keeping workers satisfied. The seafood industry has its fair share of unsustainable methods that ignore detrimental effects on the environment, the product, and the industry workers. However, there numerous fisheries that have the gift of foresight and are able to prevent predicaments before they ever happen. The Maine lobster industry is one such fishery and regulators intend to keep it strong and vibrant.

Maine lobster

Maine lobster makes a delectable treat for any seafood lover.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Dana Moos.

Maine lobster is a widely loved American favorite when it comes to shellfish. In contrast to many other wild fisheries, Maine lobster landings have increased dramatically over the last several decades. This would seem to be a good thing – but once we look a little closer, we realize there are problems down the road for this beloved fishery. Fortunately, regulators are taking notice now, while the fishery is still healthy, and working towards adopting better practices that will preserve the future of the Maine lobster fishery. By exploring what those problems are and what industry regulators are likely to do about them, we can get a better idea of the overall issue.

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Marine Science Educator Erica Warren Engages Students’ Imagination with Creative Ocean Art

Posted by on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 with 9 Comments

Those of us who teach children every day are always on the hunt to find engaging tools and creative ways to instruct our students. Luckily, when you teach marine science education you have a fantastic array of ways to spark the imagination and ignite the learning process. We’ve discussed how to use play to excite children, and the value of providing experiential training for middle school and high school students. Now, Erica Warren, Marine Science Educator with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, shares with us how she uses ocean art to engage her students.

ocean art

Erica Warren uses art to engage students in marine science education.
Photo credit: Rietta Hohman.

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Researcher Jill Bible Studies the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Olympia Oysters and Advocates Science Education

Posted by on Monday, April 7th, 2014 with 3 Comments

On the Sonoma coast of Northern California, there is an incredible education and research institution that is dedicated to studying the organisms and ecosystems of our oceans. Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) is home to scientists and students who investigate the environmental processes at the land and sea interface. Jill Bible is a researcher earning her PhD at BML, and she is very interested in one process in particular – ocean acidification. Her research with Olympia oysters gives us crucial information about how human activity is affecting shell-building creatures. Jill shares her research with us and explains why science education helps us develop solutions and promotes positive change.

ocean acidification

Jill setting up an experiment in San Francisco Bay.
Photo provided by Jill Bible.

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Seafood Restaurant Owner Kenny Belov Explains the Value of Honesty and Traceability in the Seafood Industry

Posted by on Friday, April 4th, 2014 with 4 Comments

Every industry has a few truly passionate individuals who create the momentum for positive change. The seafood industry is fortunate to have Kenny Belov as one of these individuals. Kenny is the owner of Fish Restaurant and TwoXSea seafood distributor in Sausalito. He believes in providing honest, renewable seafood products with high traceability – and his customers love it. Kenny explains for us the value of being honest and providing quality seafood products in a socially responsible restaurant.

Kenny’s restaurant Fish uses only products with high traceability – whether it is seafood, produce, or wine.
Photo provided by Kenny Belov.

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The Ocean Health Index: A Powerful Tool for Conservation Management

Posted by on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 with 0 Comments

Any business owner understands the importance of representing complex data sets with percentiles. Calculations, percentages, scores, and rankings are all essential for helping managers and owners make informed decisions on when, where, and how to best utilize their products and build a better management model – especially if we can cross-examine these numbers with similar businesses or products, and see trends over time.

Until recently, the health of our oceans has been a jumble of data sets unique to every coastal region, yielding a cacophony of benefits to humans versus costs to ocean health and sustainability versus overexploitation. The ocean provides countless jobs, food sources, and recreational activities for every coastal community in the world, and each region has a specific set of threats facing their marine resources. In 2012, a revolutionary tool was unleashed – the Ocean Health Index. The Ocean Health Index is the first comprehensive assessment of global health, and is the result of a fantastic collaboration of expert scientists, policy makers and conservationists. They wanted to create a tool that can be used to identify and compare areas of the ocean that are being used sustainably, and those that are in desperate need of attention and better management. It allows countries to compare their performance with other nations and encourages action to improve ocean health.

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The Ocean Health Index: A Powerful Tool for Conservation Management

Posted by on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 with 0 Comments

Any business owner understands the importance of representing complex data sets with percentiles. Calculations, percentages, scores, and rankings are all essential for helping managers and owners make informed decisions on when, where, and how to best utilize their products and build a better management model – especially if we can cross-examine these numbers with similar businesses or products, and see trends over time.

Until recently, the health of our oceans has been a jumble of data sets unique to every coastal region, yielding a cacophony of benefits to humans versus costs to ocean health and sustainability versus overexploitation. The ocean provides countless jobs, food sources, and recreational activities for every coastal community in the world, and each region has a specific set of threats facing their marine resources. In 2012, a revolutionary tool was unleashed – the Ocean Health Index. The Ocean Health Index is the first comprehensive assessment of global health, and is the result of a fantastic collaboration of expert scientists, policy makers and conservationists. They wanted to create a tool that can be used to identify and compare areas of the ocean that are being used sustainably, and those that are in desperate need of attention and better management. It allows countries to compare their performance with other nations and encourages action to improve ocean health.

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The Value of Experiential Learning: LiMPETs Coordinator Abby Nickels Engages Youth with Real Scientific Monitoring Methods

Posted by on Monday, March 31st, 2014 with 1 Comments

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb

Educating today’s youth on environmental issues is the first and foremost step to solving the impending troubles of tomorrow. Our children need to experience science firsthand and understand the importance of keeping our coastlines healthy. The Long-Term Monitoring and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS) program is an intensive environmental monitoring entity that combines youth education, experiential learning, and citizen science into an exciting package.

LiMPETS takes learning one step further – they engage middle school and high school students in real scientific methods to monitor the intertidal zone, providing them with essential hands-on experience that contributes to a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge. Abby Nickels coordinates the LiMPETS program for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. She works to connect students with California’s coastal ecosystems through experiential learning by teaching them methods used by scientists to monitor intertidal environments. Abby gives us her insight into this amazing program and what it offers youth.

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