Oct 16 2019

New Data Makes Case for Anchovy Abundance as Oceana Lawsuit Continues

New, preliminary data from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) have provided further evidence that California’s anchovy population is now at record high levels. The data come amid a renewed lawsuit by the environmental group Oceana that seeks to reduce the already very limited amount of anchovy caught commercially in California.

The preliminary data from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center Larval Lab weekly report on September 16 show that the 2019 spring CalCOFI survey documented the highest abundance of larval anchovy off the coast of California ever recorded — nearly double the record amount from the mid-1960s. It did not even include the tens of thousands of tons of anchovy that fishermen have reported in nearshore waters since 2015. This is the latest piece of evidence that the anchovy population is far more resilient than Oceana alleges, according to the California Wetfish Producers Association.

Scientists have found that anchovy undergo large dynamic population swings naturally, even without fishing, and the precautionary fishing limits allowed have not harmed the ecosystem. But despite the latest evidence of anchovy abundance, Oceana is suing to further limit California’s small anchovy fishery.

Members of the Wetfish Producers Association have long held that massive schools of anchovies, particularly in California’s inshore areas, have not been properly counted. CWPA has worked to confirm the observations of its members in cooperative surveys with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. These nearshore surveys add evidence to the preliminary CalCOFI data: there are tens of thousands of tons of anchovies in inshore California waters, in addition to record abundance offshore. This explosion occurred in the presence of this small, historical fishery.

“There is an increasingly large body of evidence showing that anchovies are far more abundant than the allegations in Oceana’s lawsuit recognize,” Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of CWPA, said in a press release. “It’s why efforts to further restrict anchovy fishing are both unnecessary and harmful to West Coast fishing communities.”

However, Oceana still seeks stricter limits on the allowable catch of the central subpopulation of northern anchovy, which is currently set at 23,573 metric tons annually as a result of prior court rulings. The fishery typically catches less than 10,000 metric tons annually of this legally allowed amount.

” … the new rule would allow 23,573 metric tons of catch regardless of whether the population rapidly declines to very small levels, was at its historic average size, or was in a boom period. This unchanging catch limit ignores the agency’s legal duties to apply the best available science to anchovy management, and its non-discretionary
duty to adjust the catch limits based on best available science to prevent overfishing in the down years,” Oceana said in its most recent lawsuit.

The group said the Council should follow an annual management strategy that “sets annual catch limits based on the current estimates of abundance from acoustic trawl surveys that would prevent overfishing and ensure sufficient food for ocean wildlife in the future,” Oceana says on its website.

However, the additional studies show an overall picture of anchovy abundance that is higher than that shown by the acoustic trawl survey alone. Oceana representatives have argued in the past that the acoustic trawl survey is the most technologically advanced method — and therefore, the best science available — for assessing anchovy abundance. Industry members countered that identifying the amount of anchovies in nearshore areas using scientifically proven methods adds to the cumulative best available science; therefore, fishery managers should make their decisions based on information from the entire suite of available data.

In August, CWPA filed to intervene in Oceana’s latest lawsuit in order to participate in the proceedings and represent the interests of its members and fishing communities before the court. CWPA believes that the additional restrictions on the anchovy harvest being sought by the lawsuit are unnecessary, and would result in significant job loss and economic hardship for California’s wetfish fishermen and processors, and by extension, California communities and the state’s fishing economy.

“We believe that the evidence will show that anchovy is being managed precautionarily and with the conservation of the species in mind,” Pleschner-Steele said. “Best management practices and the best available science do not support the claims of overfishing made in the lawsuit.”


Original post: https://www.seafoodnews.com Posted by permission. Please subscribe to Seafood News.

Oct 16 2019

Sides battle over Monterey Bay’s anchovy population

Neil Guglielmo, right, is 78 and has been fishing anchovies out of Monterey since 1956 and said the population is plentiful. (Monterey Herald file photo)

MONTEREY — A fishing industry group says it has new findings supporting its contention that there is a healthy population of anchovies, which is counter to a nonprofit’s lawsuit challenging how the number of anchovies are determined. Meanwhile, Monterey fishermen say there are tons of the little guys in the local fishery.

Gino Pennisi and Neil Guglielmo have been fishing out of Monterey for years, in Guglielmo’s case, since 1956. Both say anchovies are plentiful.

“They were so thick for a while you could walk up them,” Pennisi said, adding that right now they have moved north to Moss Landing and San Francisco. “They have tails; they move.”

But the nonprofit group Oceana argues the number of anchovies federal agencies state are not accurate and as a result can misstate the population and allow limits greater than the population would support.

Anchovies are critical to marine life in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Pelicans, sea lions and humpback whales all depend on the Northern Anchovy as a food source.

Anchovy numbers off the coast of California are the subject of debate between fishermen and an environmental nonprofit. (Provided/NOAA Marine Fisheries)

Anchovy numbers off the coast of California are the subject of debate between fishermen and an environmental nonprofit. (Provided/NOAA Marine Fisheries)

The California Wetfish Producers Association, a fishing industry trade group, on Thursday released data showing California anchovies are at record levels. The data was compiled by the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations, a partnership of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries Service and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Wetfish Producers issued a statement essentially saying the data from Fisheries Investigations flies in the face of what Oceana is arguing in its lawsuit. Oceana’s suit was filed by the nonprofit Earthjustice on behalf of Oceana in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District.

It lists several allegations but the primary argument is that Marine Fisheries has failed to conduct a full assessment of anchovies since 1995. The regulator has released annual surveys but Oceana argues those are insufficient to accurately determine the population.

“The annual surveys are insufficient for proper long-term management of the fishery to prevent overfishing and to ensure sufficient food for dependent wildlife,” said Ashley Blacow-Draeger, Oceana’s Pacific policy and communications manager based out of Monterey.

Not so, said Joshua Lindsay, fishery policy analyst for the National Marine Fisheries Service. The surveys have become far more accurate in the past few years and the data they produce are considered sound, hard science. And science is showing a healthy population.

“We feel comfortable with the survey data,” Lindsay said. “We have seen the population substantially increase every year.”

There has been concern about problems with nesting brown pelicans along the Channel Islands where much of their annual nesting occurs. Oceana says it’s from dwindling anchovy populations. Marine Fisheries said it’s because a warm-water phenomenon nicknamed “the blob,” a warm patch of water in the northern Pacific Ocean associated with algal blooms and marine die-offs. It also pushed anchovies away from the historic pelican nesting grounds.

Back in Monterey Bay, Guglielmo, one of the Monterey fishermen, said he sees hundreds of pelicans when he’s out on his boat.

The current limit of anchovies is 23,573 metric tons, based on an earlier court ruling, said Diane Pleschner-Steele, the executive director of the Wetfish Producers Association. The fishery typically catches less than 10,000 metric tons.

“There is an increasingly large body of evidence showing that anchovies are far more abundant than the allegations in Oceana’s lawsuit recognize,”  Pleschner-Steele said. “It’s why efforts to further restrict anchovy fishing are both unnecessary and harmful to West Coast fishing communities.”

Still, the same federal district court in 2018 issued a ruling on a previous Oceana lawsuit requiring the U.S. Fisheries Service to apply the best available science to prevent overfishing of anchovies.

The Fisheries Service says it is using the best available science and is currently collecting data that will be part of a full population assessment in the next couple of years.


Originally published: https://www.montereyherald.com/

Sep 25 2019

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

The new IPCC Special Report, released today,  is the first IPCC Report to focus on the role of the ocean in the global climate and the effects of climate change on the ocean. Ocean acidification is extensively covered throughout the report. A few OA-relevant excerpts from the Summary for Policymakers are cited below:

OBSERVED CHANGES AND IMPACTS

Observed Physical Changes

A2.5 The ocean has taken up between 20–30% (very likely) of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions since the 1980s causing further ocean acidification. Open ocean surface pH has declined by a very likely range of 0.017–0.027 pH units per decade since the late 1980s, with the decline in surface ocean pH very likely to have already emerged from background natural variability for more than 95% of the ocean surface area. {3.2.1; 5.2.2; Box 5.1; Figures SPM.1, SPM.2}

Observed Impacts on Ecosystems

A5.3 Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) are amongst the most productive ocean ecosystems. Increasing ocean acidification and oxygen loss are negatively impacting two of the four major upwelling systems: the California Current and Humboldt Current (high confidence). Ocean acidification and decrease in oxygen level in the California Current upwelling system have altered ecosystem structure, with direct negative impacts on biomass production and species composition (medium confidence). {Box 5.3, Figure SPM.2}

A6.4 Warm-water coral reefs and rocky shores dominated by immobile, calcifying (e.g., shell and skeleton producing) organisms such as corals, barnacles and mussels, are currently impacted by extreme temperatures and ocean acidification (high confidence). Marine heatwaves have already resulted in large-scale coral bleaching events at increasing frequency (very high confidence) causing worldwide reef degradation since 1997, and recovery is slow (more than 15 years) if it occurs (high confidence). Prolonged periods of high environmental temperature and dehydration of the organisms pose high risk to rocky shore ecosystems (high confidence). {SR1.5; 5.3.4, 5.3.5, 6.4.2.1, Figure SPM.2}

PROJECTED CHANGES AND RISKS

Projected Physical Changes

B2.3 Continued carbon uptake by the ocean by 2100 is virtually certain to exacerbate ocean acidification. Open ocean surface pH is projected to decrease by around 0.3 pH units by 2081–2100, relative to 2006– 2015, under RCP8.5 (virtually certain). For RCP8.5, there are elevated risks for keystone aragonite shell-forming species due to crossing an aragonite stability threshold year-round in the Polar and sub-Polar Oceans by 2081–2100 (very likely). For RCP2.6, these conditions will be avoided this century (very likely), but some eastern boundary upwelling systems are projected to remain vulnerable (high confidence). {3.2.3, 5.2.2, Box 5.1, Box 5.3, Figure SPM.1}

B2.4 Climate conditions, unprecedented since the preindustrial period, are developing in the ocean, elevating risks for open ocean ecosystems. Surface acidification and warming have already emerged in the historical period (very likely). Oxygen loss between 100 and 600 m depth is projected to emerge over 59–80% of the ocean area by 2031– 2050 under RCP8.5 (very likely). The projected time of emergence for five primary drivers of marine ecosystem change (surface warming and acidification, oxygen loss, nitrate content and net primary production change) are all prior to 2100 for over 60% of the ocean area under RCP8.5 and over 30% under RCP2.6 (very likely). {Annex I: Glossary, Box 5.1, Box 5.1 Figure 1}

Projected Risks for Ecosystems

B5.3 Warming, ocean acidification, reduced seasonal sea ice extent and continued loss of multi-year sea ice are projected to impact polar marine ecosystems through direct and indirect effects on habitats, populations and their viability (medium confidence). The geographical range of Arctic marine species, including marine mammals, birds and fish is projected to contract, while the range of some sub-Arctic fish communities is projected to expand, further increasing pressure on high-Arctic species (medium confidence). In the Southern Ocean, the habitat of Antarctic krill, a key prey species for penguins, seals and whales, is projected to contract southwards under both RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 (medium confidence). {3.2.2, 3.2.3, 5.2.3}

B5.4 Ocean warming, oxygen loss, acidification and a decrease in flux of organic carbon from the surface to the deep ocean are projected to harm habitat-forming cold-water corals, which support high biodiversity, partly through decreased calcification, increased dissolution of skeletons, and bioerosion (medium confidence). Vulnerability and risks are highest where and when temperature and oxygen conditions both reach values outside species’ tolerance ranges (medium confidence). {Box 5.2, Figure SPM.3}

B6.1 All coastal ecosystems assessed are projected to face increasing risk level, from moderate to high risk under RCP2.6 to high to very high risk under RCP8.5 by 2100. Intertidal rocky shore ecosystems are projected to be at very high risk by 2100 under RCP8.5 (medium confidence) due to exposure to warming, especially during marine heatwaves, as well as to acidification, sea level rise, loss of calcifying species and biodiversity (high confidence). Ocean acidification challenges these ecosystems and further limits their habitat suitability (medium confidence) by inhibiting recovery through reduced calcification and enhanced bioerosion. The decline of kelp forests is projected to continue in temperate regions due to warming, particularly under the projected intensification of marine heatwaves, with high risk of local extinctions under RCP8.5 (medium confidence). {5.3, 5.3.5, 5.3.6, 5.3.7, 6.4.2, Figure SPM.3}

The full Report, as well as the Summary for Policymakers are available here.


Originally published: https://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/

Sep 5 2019

New Marine Heatwave Emerges off West Coast, Resembles “the Blob”

Researchers are monitoring a new marine heatwave off the West Coast for effects on the marine ecosystem.

Sea surface temperature anomaly maps show temperatures above normal in orange and red.

 

About five years ago “the Blob” of warm ocean water disrupted the West Coast marine ecosystem and depressed salmon returns. Now, a new expanse of unusually warm water has quickly grown in much the same way, in the same area, to almost the same size.

The warm expanse building off the West Coast stretches roughly from Alaska south to California. It ranks as the second largest marine heatwave in terms of area in the northern Pacific Ocean in the last 40 years, after “the Blob.”

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. He developed a system for tracking and measuring heatwaves in the Pacific Ocean using satellite data. “Already, on its own, it is one of the most significant events that we’ve seen.”

Cold water welling up from ocean depths along the coast has so far held the warm expanse offshore, he said. However, the upwelling, driven by coastal winds, usually wanes in the fall. The heatwave could then move onshore and affect coastal temperatures, he said. This already appears to have happened along the coast of Washington.

The new marine heatwave off the West Coast stands out in this map of sea surface temperature anomalies, with darker red denoting temperatures farther above average. The highest temperatures shown are more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Image from NOAA Coral Reef Watch, which corrects effectively for cloud cover.

NOAA Fisheries is focusing additional monitoring on the new heatwave, designated the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019. NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest and Northwest Fisheries Science Centers will provide fisheries managers and others with information on how the unusually warm conditions could affect the marine ecosystem and fish stocks.

“We learned with ‘the Blob’ and similar events worldwide that what used to be unexpected is becoming more common,” said Cisco Werner, NOAA Fisheries Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor. “We will continue to inform the public about how the heatwave is evolving, and what we might anticipate based on experience.”

The new heatwave resembles the early stages of “the Blob.” This previous marine heat wave peaked through 2014 and 2015 with temperatures close to seven degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Blob Could Dissipate Quickly

Like “the Blob,” the new heatwave emerged over the past few months. A ridge of high pressure dampened the winds that otherwise mix and cool the ocean’s surface. The heatwave remains relatively new and is primarily affecting the upper layers of the ocean, it could break up rapidly.

“It looks bad, but it could also go away pretty quickly if the unusually persistent weather patterns that caused it change,” said Nate Mantua, a research scientist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

Current forecasts show the heat wave moderating but continuing for months.

A key question is whether the new heatwave will last long enough to affect the marine ecosystem. Biologists say that its large size means it probably already has. For example, warmer conditions during “the Blob” left lesser-quality food available to young salmon entering the ocean. It also shifted predator distributions in ways that contributed to low returns of salmon.

Shifts in the marine food web during the evolution of the 2014-2015 marine heatwave called, “the Blob,” forced sea lion mothers to forage further from their rookeries in the Channel Islands off Southern California. Hungry pups set out on their own, but many became stranded on area beaches. 

Other impacts linked to the earlier heatwave include:

  • The largest harmful algal bloom recorded on the West Coast, which shut down crabbing and clamming for months.
  • Thousands of young California sea lions stranding on beaches.
  • Multiple declared fishery disasters.

NOAA Fisheries scientists recently convened a special meeting to discuss the emerging heatwave and how to anticipate and track its effects. They are now reviewing impacts documented during the “the Blob” to compare them against the effects of the emerging heatwave.

“Given the magnitude of what we saw last time, we want to know if this evolves on a similar path,” said Chris Harvey, a research scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Monitoring Framework in Place

NOAA Fisheries’ two West Coast laboratories collaborate on the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment. This is a joint effort to track and interpret environmental change off the West Coast. That provides a framework to monitor shifting conditions, Harvey said.

One challenge will be applying lessons learned from the last heat wave to anticipate and mitigate potential impacts of the new one. For example, the warm water of “the Blob” led humpback and other whales to feed closer to shore. Record numbers became entangled in lines from crab traps and other fishing gear.

In response, fishermen, managers, and others have formed working groups in California, Oregon, and Washington. They hope to find ways of reducing the risk of entanglements.

The marine heatwave that has formed off the West Coast of North America is currently close to the warmest area in the Pacific Ocean. Map shows sea surface temperature anomalies, with darker orange representing temperatures farther above average. Image from NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.

 

Real-time research on environmental changes will give managers the details they need to respond, said Kristen Koch, Director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “This is a time when we all need to know how our marine ecosystem is changing, and what that means for those of us who live along the West Coast.”

The new northeast Pacific heatwave reflects current weather patterns. This includes a band of high pressure stretching north to the Bering Sea and Alaska, which have been unusually warm in recent years, said Nick Bond, a research meteorologist with the Joint Institute for the study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle, a collaboration between NOAA and the University of Washington.

“There are definitely concerning implications for the ecosystem,” said Bond, who is credited with naming “the Blob.” “It’s all a matter of how long it lasts and how deep it goes.”


Original post: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/new-marine-heatwave-emerges-west-coast-resembles-blob

Sep 5 2019

Marine Heat Wave Similar To ‘The Blob’ Returns To West Coast

The warm water stretches from Alaska to California, covering an area that’s almost as large as “the blob” and still growing.

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. “Already, on its own, it is one of the most significant events that we’ve seen.”

This map of sea surface temperatures illustrates the new marine heatwave off the West Coast as compared with “the blob” of 2014-15. Darker red denotes temperatures farther above average. The highest temperatures shown are more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. NOAA Coral Reef Watch

The marine heat wave in 2014-15 sent water temperatures up to nearly 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal. It caused massive harmful algae blooms that shut down crab and clam fisheries up and down the West Coast. It affected food availability in the ocean, which resulted in many young sea lions left stranded on beaches by parents searching for food. Warmer waters led humpback and other whales to feed closer to shore, which in turn caused record numbers of them to become entangled in lines from crab traps and other fishing gear. They also brought a baffling proliferation of an unfamiliar, pickle-shaped creature known as a pyrosome.

“We learned with ‘the Blob’ and similar events worldwide that what used to be unexpected is becoming more common,” said Cisco Werner, NOAA Fisheries director of scientific programs and chief science adviser. “We will continue to inform the public about how the heatwave is evolving, and what we might anticipate based on experience.”

Current forecasts show the heat wave moderating but continuing for months.

Nick Bond, a research meteorologist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle, said weather patterns in the region around Alaska and the Bering sea have been unusually warm in recent years. Scientists with NOAA are reviewing impacts documented during the “the blob” to compare them against the effects of the emerging heatwave.

“There are definitely concerning implications for the ecosystem,” said Bond, who is credited with naming “the Blob.” “It’s all a matter of how long it lasts and how deep it goes.”

This story will be updated.


Original post: https://www.opb.org/news/article/marine-heat-wave-blob-returns-west-coast/

Aug 8 2019

California Wetfish Producers Association Files to Intervene in Oceana Anchovy Lawsuit

August 8, 2019 — The following was released by the California Wetfish Producers Association:

The California Wetfish Producers Association (CWPA) has filed to intervene in a lawsuit filed by environmental group Oceana over California’s northern anchovy fishery. The filing will allow CWPA to participate in the lawsuit to protect the interests of California fishermen and processors who would face significant economic harm if the lawsuit were successful.

The lawsuit alleges that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must set stricter limits on the northern anchovy catch. As the result of a recent Oceana lawsuit, where the Court required NMFS to revise its catch rule, the catch limit is currently set at 23,573 metric tons, which, according to NMFS estimates, is only 25 percent of the stock’s overfishing level.

Not only are additional restrictions on the anchovy harvest unnecessary, but greater cuts would result in significant job loss and economic hardship for California’s wetfish industry and coastal communities.

“If [Oceana] prevails in this case, there could be a drastic reduction from current harvest levels,” said CWPA in its filing. “Such a reduction in harvest opportunity will seriously and irreparably harm CWPA members and the wetfish industry.”

Anchovy fishing off the California coast

 

This would affect not just California wetfish fishermen, who rely on anchovy when other species, like squid or mackerel, are unavailable, but also the processors, distributors, and seaside businesses who rely on a consistent catch. If lower catch limits are approved, the jobs of at least 400 CWPA members alone will be at risk, as well as many thousands more in related industries.

“Fishermen up and down the California coast are facing threats to their livelihoods from this frivolous and unnecessary lawsuit,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of CWPA. “We are asking to be involved in this lawsuit to ensure that the Court also considers the needs and concerns of our members and California’s coastal communities. Our fishery management policy mandates balance between protecting the ocean and sustaining fishing communities ”

The sharply reduced catch limits that Oceana seeks are not scientifically justified. The basis for Oceana’s case is a single, flawed study that significantly underestimated the size of the anchovy population, in 2015, leading to the first Court decision, That study excluded  the abundance of anchovy in inshore areas, for example. Cooperative surveys that CWPA has conducted with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife  have documented tens of thousands of tons of anchovies in these areas that have simply not been counted in stock assessments. . This finding contradicts the argument that the anchovy population was dangerously low, and that the already precautionary catch levels must be reduced further.

“The best available science does not support Oceana’s position,” said Ms. Pleschner-Steele. “ The Court needs to allow NMFS to set appropriate catch limits based on sound science.”

Aug 8 2019

FEELING SQUIDDISH | Local market squid fisheries impacted by warm blob in Pacific

California Market Squid regenerative their population every year.

 

By Kimberly Rivers

The squid landing docks at the Port of Hueneme are quiet. In recent years the summer months were busy with dozens of boats coming and going, offloading millions of pounds of California Market Squid into tanks for export to Asia for processing and then returning to be served up for fried calamari or other dishes.

The local squid fishery declined from 2014-16 in response to a warm water mass called “the blob.” The name was coined by Nicholas Bond, Alaska-based research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) at the University of Washington. Blob, as expected, is a reference to the amorphous monster from the 1958 horror classic film.

Typically ocean temperatures 50 miles off the Southern California coast are “very much in step” with the ocean temperatures at the equator, said Clarissa Anderson, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS). The system she manages is part of a network of systems monitoring ocean conditions worldwide. “Then they diverge when the blob hit in 2014 and only come back together again for the big 2016 El Niño, then diverge again. This may be related to the perturbation caused by the blob temp anomaly that lasted so long.”

The blob was a “large anomalously warm” area of the Pacific Ocean, “spread over a broad area, resulting in major ecosystem impacts,” said Anderson.

Anderson and Bond monitor different sensor systems in their regions and look for anomalies in the oceans. She said the blob mostly impacted the area for about two years and prevented mixing of water, caused the drought, wildfires,” and decimated the Dungeness crab industry along the Pacific Coast.

When asked whether we are seeing a blob 2.0, causing a decline in the squid fishery in the area, she said people may be “quick to call it that in homage to the past blob,” but she is not certain it’s a new blob, but might be that the blob never really left.

“We don’t have a threshold for when to call it a blob,” said Anderson. “I don’t know if we are having an actual true marine heat wave.”

Warm water prevents the normal upwelling of cool water from deeper water that contains important nutrients and food sources for species that live at shallower depths. “We have seen a lot of upwelling in the spring,” she said, noting that much of the ocean is looking like “business as usual” but with a “warmer background level of water.”

That warmer background water could reveal a trend, part of what is needed to identify a true anomaly, which would indicate something serious occurring. To confirm that, Anderson said data must be “compared to a background baseline,” and an increase in temperature is only significant when it “deviates from a background norm.” Reviewing temperatures each day is not enough; current day temps must be run against past data over time to identify a true change or trend showing temperature increase.  

After reviewing the most recent days’ data, Anderson said that there appears to be “anomalously warm water off the Central Coast.” She emphasized the data set covered “the climatology period 2007 to the present.” It does show a red blob-shaped area about 250 kilometers off the Central Coast that is four degrees higher than the normal range of temperatures.

In 2010, well before the blob arrived, squid season in the Ventura area brought in 126 million pounds of squid valued at $33.7 million. By 2016, total poundage dropped by a third to 34 million pounds valued at $16.8 million.

2018 data shows a continued declining trend totaling 27.6 million pounds valued at $13.6 million. Ventura Harbor and Port Hueneme landings for squid in 2018 were valued at $6.7 million and $6.8 million respectively, less than half of the 2010 value. Data and values are according to records held by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The good news is that squid are pretty resilient,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of California Wetfish Producers Association. The species does prefer cooler water, but is showing an ability to move and find food. “And squid are very cyclical . . . We can’t afford to lose our squid fisheries . . . and a number of species are going to be hit hard by ocean acidification and climate change.”

In terms of how warm water will impact market squid, “It depends where the food goes,” Pleschner-Steele said. “Squid are pretty voracious predators. When we have typical cooler upwelled water that is more nutrient rich, we have more squid.”

Squid will devour krill in the deeper offshore areas. As they move closer to shore to spawn, they become “cannibalistic” and eat each other. This may contribute to the resiliency as the ocean ecosystem changes.

Pleshchner-Steele also pointed to the normal cyclical nature of squid populations, saying “Ventura got used to having squid in the summer time.” The strong El Niña in the Pacific created an abnormal situation between 2010 and 2013, and a “decadal squid boom for southern California” led to the seemingly major shifts.  “My guess is to see a return to normal pattern.”

She referred to a research project of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, completed in February, that “saw a bump in the para-larvae numbers” of market squid. She said that is a signal that there is likely to be an uptick in squid number in about nine to 10 months. “Ventura will just have to wait until fall.”


Original post: https://www.vcreporter.com/

Aug 6 2019

NOAA Releases 2018 Status of Stocks With New Emphasis on Environmental Impacts

The words “overfishing” and “overfished” are still used to describe seafood species with too high of a catch rate or too low of a population, but for the first time NOAA’s “Status of the Stocks 2018”, released last Friday, attributes impacts from global warming as causing changes in the sustainability status of fish stocks. It may be time to find new adjectives.

The bottom line for the report is the list, titled “Overfishing and Overfished Stocks As of December 31, 2018.” The good news in the 2018 report is that seven stocks came off the Overfishing List. But zero came off the Overfished List, five stocks were added to the Overfising List and eight stocks were added to the Overfished List.

The operative terms were defined by Alan Risenhoover, director of NOAA’s Office of Sustainable Fisheries, noted in Friday’s press conference.

“ ‘Overfishing’ is the rate of harvest, or the number of fish removed per year: one percent, ten percent, etc.,” Risenhoover said. “ ‘Overfished’ means that over time, overfishing creates a non-sustainable stock status for those species. It refers to overall population size.”

But it was environmental conditions that were listed as significant reasons for adding species to the lists, not what the fleets were doing.

“The total number of stocks listed as overfished increased, due to a number of factors including those outside the control of domestic fisheries management,” the report noted.

“The eight stocks added to the 2018 overfished list illustrate numerous challenges inherent in fisheries management,” the report author wrote.

“Environmental change, habitat degradation, and international fishing contributed to the status of the eight new overfished stocks. For example, relatively warm water conditions may be impacting the growth and reproduction of the cold-water Saint Matthew Island blue king crab. This stock has never been subject to overfishing and directed fishing for this crab has been prohibited since 2016.

“Warm ocean conditions, including the warm “Blob” in the northeast Pacific Ocean, reduced the number of spawning coho salmon returning to their natal rivers, and both Chinook and coho salmon have been impacted by habitat degradation caused by drought and lack of sufficient water for spawning,” the report noted.

“During the past 5 years, several of the fisheries for these salmon stocks have been declared fishery disasters under the MSA by the Secretary of Commerce due to factors beyond the control of fishery managers.”

NOAA partners with regional councils to manage the nation’s fisheries stocks, and works closely with other international bodies to manage stocks that are highly migratory and harvested globally. All management bodies use similar scientific principles to maintain sustainable populations, but very few include impacts of global warming or environmental changes, although almost all managers are aware of those impacts.

Managing fisheries on an ecosystem basis, rather than each species or species stock alone, was put into place by most U.S. management agencies in recent years. In Alaska, the effort to expand that to include weather systems, Arctic ice conditions, and stock migrations are underway.

Part of the problem is keeping up with rapidly changing warming ocean temperatures, especially in the north Atlantic and north Pacific. The nation’s most abundant fishing grounds in the Bering Sea are being impacted harder and sooner than many other productive areas because of the recent lack of sea ice and Arctic warming.

There are no models of how fisheries stocks react to these fundamental environmental shifts because the shifts have not happened on the current scale. Managers are aware of migration changes that may help some species and hurt others, depending on food availability, predators, and environmental conditions.

It is the biggest challenge NOAA Fisheries has faced perhaps in its history — how to manage stocks in a rapidly changing ocean.

For 2018, 43 fish stocks are on the Overfished List, with 28 on the Overfishing List. New England has the most Overfished species, with 15; the North Pacific has the least with 2 (St. Matthew Island and the Pribilof Island blue king crab stocks.)

After 9 years in a rebuilding plan with strict management, including a prohibition on landings, Gulf of Maine smooth skate was declared rebuilt in 2018.

“The renewed fishing opportunity and market for barndoor skate wings, following its rebuilt status, may lay the market foundation for a smooth skate fishery in the future,” the report noted.

Photo Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Peggy Parker
SeafoodNews.com
1-781-861-1441
peggyparker@urnerbarry.com


Original post: SeafoodNews.com — reposted with permission.

Aug 6 2019

Research cruise off California finds life lacking in parts of the ocean

The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation captures a trove of data about what the ocean is like now, and how it compares to conditions decades ago

Scripps CalCOFI scientists and technicians deploy the Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor rosette over the side of the research vessel, Bold Horizon. (Natalya Gallo)

In parts of the California Current this summer, the ocean was clear, azure, and almost empty.

The high water clarity, and low biological productivity, were some of the defining features that struck scientists returning from a cruise with the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI) program, a 70-year study of West Coast waters.

Although the lack of life sounds ominous, scientists said it’s neither good, nor bad, but an interesting observation that will add to their knowledge of the California Current.

“I have never seen the water so blue in my life,” said Dave Griffith, a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It was beautiful. It looked like Lake Tahoe out there. You don’t have upwelling, which is what brings the nutrients up to the surface.”

A joint venture of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CalCOFI was launched in 1949 as a way to understand the collapse of the once prolific sardine industry in California.

It soon expanded to become an exhaustive catalogue of fisheries, marine ecosystems and water chemistry. Its quarterly research cruises capture a trove of data about what the ocean is like now, and how it compares to conditions decades ago.

The ocean serves as a vast factory for manufacturing life, with plankton nourishing crustaceans and small fish, which in turn support marine mammals, seabirds, sharks and tuna. This summer, that production system seemed to be on pause, researchers said.

“Productivity conditions were very low, we weren’t capturing high biomass in any of our nets,” said Natalya Gallo, a postdoctoral researcher with the program, who volunteered on the cruise. “Marine mammal observations were low. That makes sense, because you have more animals when you have more food.”

Without the churning of nutrients from the ocean floor, the system stalls and ocean productivity — the amount of life produced at all those levels — declines.

That’s normal in the summer, when warmer water slows up-welling of nutrients from the sea floor, but researchers said ocean productivity seemed lower than usual, even for the season.

NOAA scientists and Scripps scientists work together to bring the Manta net back onboard, following a 15-minute sampling period of the ocean surface. Manta net samples often contained gelatinous organisms, copepods, and fish eggs and larvae.   (Natalya D. Gallo)

NOAA fisheries scientist, Dave Griffith, prepares to attach the Pairovet, a vertically sampling net, to the winch wire before its deployment. The Pairovet net is primarily used to sample anchovy eggs.   (Natalya D. Gallo)

NOAA fisheries scientist, Dave Griffith, holds a newly preserved zooplankton sample up to the light to get a better look at the amphipods and euphausiids in the sample.   (Natalya Gallo)

Chief scientist, Dan Schuller, prepares the Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor rosette for deployment as the crew leaves San Diego Bay and heads towards the first sampling station of CalCOFI Cruise BH1907.   (Natalya Gallo)

 

The ability to observe, measure and compare ocean chemistry and biology from year to year is the chief benefit of CalCOFI, which scientists said is the longest running set of marine data in the world.

“There was very little biomass at all, at all tropic levels, from (plankton) all the way up to marine mammals,” said CalCOFI Director Brice Siemons. “That is an observation, and we can put that in perspective in our time series, and compare it to all of the last 70 years.”

That’s why the 70-year time series of the California Current is so valuable, they said. The ability to maintain a running tally of ocean measurements allows researchers to sort out whether an event, such as this summer’s biological scarcity, is a short-time curiosity, or a long-time trend.

Over a 16-day cruise of the Southern California Bight and California Current, researchers took samples of water chemistry, plankton, fish eggs, marine mammal and seabird sightings, and other variables, at 70 research stations in a grid off the coast. Scientists with Scripps, in charge of oceanographic testing, lowered a device fitted with metal cannisters that measures water temperature and chemical properties at depth.

NOAA researchers study fisheries by sampling fish eggs and larvae, using four different types of nets. This time, it was slim pickings, particularly in the sea beyond the California Current — the open waters that scientists refer to as an “ocean desert.”

“This was exceptional,” Griffith said. “We weren’t seeing many eggs in the water, which is not uncommon, but there were areas where we were not seeing anything. It was pretty sparse.”

It’s unclear why the samples were so scanty as the ocean’s physical conditions didn’t seem out of the norm, said Dan Schuller, chief scientist for the cruise.

“There was nothing crazy anomalous in any of the parameters we were looking at,” he said. “Physical parameters — temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll — were pretty standard for a Southern California trip.”

Researchers said they’ll have to test their observations of low productivity against the data they get from analyzing their samples in the lab. It may turn out that there was more abundance of life than it appeared at first glance. And even if the ocean was less productive this summer, that could be part of cycles of boom and bust in marine populations.

Warm waters in recent years have suppressed some fish populations, but also led to favorable conditions for other species popular with fishermen.

“Fishes, especially near-shore commercial fishes — kelp bass, rock bass, the marine species that everybody likes to catch — they can’t particularly pick up and leave,” Siemens said.

Other migratory fish, such as yellowfin and bluefin tuna, are drawn to the balmy, near-shore waters, to the delight of San Diego fishermen.

“Somewhat counter-intuitively, when the water’s warm, and production is low, you get some of the best commercial fisheries, which is really good for our economy,” he said.

Although their biological samples were low overall, scientists did find creatures, including small crustaceans called copapods, as well as euphausiids, or krill, a shrimp-like crustacean. They pulled up chaetognaths, a transparent predatory worm that “should probably be featured in the next “Aliens” movie,” Gallo said.

They also found pyrosomes, a bizarre, colonial organism made up of many small tunicate worms, stitched into a translucent tube that can grow to an imposing 60 feet in length. Gallo said CalCOFI researchers found many smaller ones in their bongo nets — circular nylon nets shaped, as their name suggests, like bongo drums. The apparent abundance of these otherworldly creatures is exactly the sort of thing that CalCOFI data can put in perspective.

“Talking to some of the NOAA fisheries scientists, they said that pyrosomes used to be quite rate, and they didn’t see many,” Gallo said. “So that’s one of the things we can do with our data, and compare to (data from) the 1950s.”

Despite high waves, strong winds, storms and seasickness, the cruises are indelible experiences for the scientists on board. For Gallo, the chance to help write a chapter in a one of the most enduring stories of marine science was a professional milestone.

“I was out at sea with NOAA scientists who have been doing CalCOFI cruises since before I was born,” she said. “It’s almost three whole (generations of scientific) careers that have been dedicated to this time series that gives us this phenomenal understanding of the dynamics of the ecosystem off the West Coast, and how it has changed in the past, and how it may change in the future with climate change.”

For Griffith, a veteran of the CalCOFI cruises, the hard work and long hours are the price of perpetual wonder.

“The ocean is a very powerful thing,” he said. “It’s a very resilient source. It’s just a curiosity. We’ll see something different next year. We see fish populations explode and then collapse, but they never go away…. It’s fascinating to watch.”

Scripps CalCOFI scientists and technicians deploy the Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor rosette over the side of the research vessel, Bold Horizon. (Natalya Gallo)

At the nearshore station off San Pedro, NOAA fisheries scientist Amy Hays (left), prepares to recover the Bongo net while Scripps CalCOFI researchers take water samples from the Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor. (Natalya Gallo)

During transit between stations, NOAA fisheries scientists collect fish eggs and larvae and count and identify them to examine fish spawning patterns across the CalCOFI grid.

Angela Klemmedson, research associate for the Scripps CalCOFI group, runs at test to measure the oxygen concentration in discrete water samples collected with the CTD rosette.


Original post: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/environment/story/2019-08-04/calcofi-cruise-california-current-marine-science-anniversary-warm-ocean-scripps-ucsd-noaa

Aug 6 2019

A world in a bottle of water

Revolutionary techniques using traces of environmental DNA are analyzing entire ecosystems “from microbes to whales”

 

Hilary Starks couldn’t wait to get her first three samples of the day. She was standing expectantly on the deck of the 117-foot research vessel Western Flyer in 2015, searching the waters of California’s Monterey Bay below. The winch on deck started moving as pulleys and wires slowly lifted what she was waiting for: a five-foot submersible carrying large plastic bottles full of seawater.

Starks, then a lab technician at Stanford University, knew that there were myriad bits of genetic information floating in the one-liter bottles, hidden to human eyes. And modern DNA-deciphering machines would later reveal secrets about the ecosystem the Western Flyer was sailing over.

Monterey Bay is home to hundreds of species of marine animals, but scientists are still far from knowing exactly how many of each there are, or how they move and interact with each other. Now researchers are analyzing the tiny traces of DNA that animals leave behind in the environment, to study their numbers and locations in a noninvasive way.

During the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s “Voyage to the White Shark Café” expedition last year, boatswain Mick Utley assists in the deployment of the CTD rosette, an instrument used to collect water samples and other oceanographic measurements from different depths of the ocean. CREDIT: SOI / MONIKA NARANJO

 

Modern gene-sequencing technologies have advanced so much that the analysis of such environmental DNA, or eDNA, from small samples of water or soil could revolutionize the way scientists understand ecology and conservation in ecosystems all over the world. “It’s really remarkable that in the twenty-first century we’re still not able to say exactly what lives in the ocean,” says Barbara Block, a marine scientist at Stanford who has been monitoring fish in the Pacific and Atlantic for decades. But today, just a liter of ocean water, housing millions of genetic sequences, can tell many tales about the ecological history of a place.

As ocean acidification and climate change become the new reality, scientists wonder what will happen to the distribution and well-being of plants and animals. “Monitoring communities and ecosystems is going to be much easier done by DNA methods,” says Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan, an environmental engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts who analyzed Stark’s samples while at Stanford. “You take one water sample and look for everything from microbes to whales.”

Just as we constantly shed DNA-containing dead cells, creatures in the oceans — from bacteria up to hulking blue whales — leave invisible environmental signs of their presence. Today’s sequencing tools are so powerful that researchers can now detect these minute traces of DNA spread out in the environment and, with refined computational methods, figure out what creatures they came from.

Finding the obvious and the elusive

To use eDNA to track species, scientists first multiply, then read, the segments found in a sample. Then they match them to known DNA sequences from species of interest.

In a study in 2012, for example, Philip Francis Thomsen, then at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and now at the University of Aarhus, and his colleagues collected seawater from sites around the Baltic Sea. They detected eDNA from harbor porpoises and long-finned pilot whales, the latter a species rarely seen in the Baltic — showing that the technology had the potential to “find” elusive species.

 

And last year, researchers in Alaska tracked the abundance of spawning salmon in a small stream by analyzing salmon DNA in the water, finding that it’s possible to use eDNA to estimate the abundance of a single species at a specific place even in flowing waters.

Sometimes, scientists use a version of the technique known as metabarcoding to assess DNA from whole groups of organisms, providing a broader snapshot of the biodiversity in a spot in the ocean. This has three key advantages compared to traditional ways of surveying biodiversity: It’s highly sensitive, it’s cheaper, and it’s noninvasive.

“So often, you have to kill whatever you’re interested in to collect it,” says Starks, who uses eDNA sequencing at her job at the consulting company Cramer Fish Sciences. “It’s nice to be able to not have to do that.”

Diving in

Use of eDNA analysis in the ocean got its start in the late 1980s, when scientists began looking at DNA in microbial blooms. Now scientists all over the world are studying all kinds of creatures and ecosystems to learn about the complexities of marine communities.

Thomsen, for instance, has used eDNA to study whale sharks in the Arabian Gulf and fish ecology deep off the coast of Greenland. Scientists in Southern California have detected white sharks with eDNA. Researchers in Alaska have studied the harbor porpoise, elusive in those waters. Australian scientists recently were able to detect signals from all of life’s major groups in that nation’s Coral Bay using eDNA methodology.

“I think it will have a big impact on our understanding of not only the dynamics of communities, but also the presence and absence of species,” says Melania Cristescu, an ecological genomicist at McGill University in Canada, whose work focuses on eDNA in freshwater environments. “That is what excites me.”

Thanks to the advance of genetic sequencing technologies, environmental DNA research, particularly in the ocean, has boomed in the last decades. Shown are scientific publications studying or referencing environmental DNA, per a major publisher’s database. 

 

Researchers in Monterey Bay started studying the eDNA of the animals that live in the area six years back, when Ryan Kelly, then a researcher at Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, set out to compare eDNA sampling to traditional biodiversity surveys. Kelly wondered whether analyzing eDNA would be an accurate as well as a faster and easier method than having divers physically count animals underwater.

He knew that DNA degrades fast in the ocean, so he first wanted to test just how reliable and sensitive eDNA technology could be. To that end, he started his work in a controlled setting at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the 4.5-million-liter Open Sea Tank hosts 12 species of animals, including Pacific sardines, mackerel and sea turtles.

“Here we have a known community — we can see the fish in the tank,” Kelly remembers thinking. “If we take a liter of water out of this, can we see the genetics of the DNA of the fish that are in there?”

His team collected water samples from the tank and tested the eDNA. Not only did the team detect the eDNA of most of the bony fish groups resident in the tank, but the method also pinpointed the DNA from the food species fed to those animals.

Beyond what divers can see

Kelly next wanted to look at eDNA in the ocean. He worried that eDNA in seawater could be carried long distances by currents and that samples might therefore not represent the actual biodiversity of a site. So in 2013, he and his team put this concern to the test in the well-studied waters off Pacific Grove, a city northwest of Monterey. Alongside the eDNA work, divers also recorded the vertebrate species they saw at the sample sites, including rockfish, wrasses, surfperch and seals.

The divers spotted 12 types of fishes and marine mammals; the eDNA technique detected 11 of these. But the genetic analysis also revealed 18 additional fishes, mammals and birds that the visual surveys missed even though the animals are known to live there. Kelly’s team also found that eDNA analysis could distinguish between habitats as close as 60 meters apart. Following this work, marine biologist Collin Closek, also at the Center for Ocean Solutions, similarly found that eDNA from untested Monterey Bay water samples matched visual observations of anchovies and humpback whales recorded at the same time.

 

A harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) photographed in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, in September 2012. Harbor porpoises can be hard to track, so researchers use eDNA to study their population and genetics.

CREDIT: NATURE PICTURE LIBRARY / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

In other words, “eDNA doesn’t just move everywhere; it doesn’t just swash around the ocean,” says Kelly, now at the University of Washington. “It stays in one place. And that was really important to know.”

Searching farther and deeper

But researchers so far had only explored the waters near shore. That’s why, in September of 2015, Starks set out on the Western Flyer  to discover what underwater secrets eDNA could reveal much farther out, in the open ocean.

As the bottle-laden submersible came up from deep waters, Starks poured the seawater samples through tiny plastic filters to capture all the floating genetic material. Then she placed the filters in a –80°C shipboard freezer so that the DNA would stay intact until Andruszkiewicz Allan could analyze it in the lab. For two days, the Western Flyer  roamed the ocean while a sleep-deprived Starks worked around the clock to pull 63 more samples up from all over Monterey Bay.

The lab analysis revealed eDNA from 72 fish and mammal species, including sharks, herring, lanternfish and sunfish. Some were deep-living denizens that scientists hadn’t previously known inhabited Monterey Bay, such as long-bodied wrymouths, also known as ghostfish.

Researchers in the area aim to learn still more from eDNA. Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have used submersible robots to automate the collection of water samples from the bay. Andruszkiewicz Allan is working on a project to model how eDNA moves in the ocean so that one could know where and when an animal shed the genetic material originally.

During a 2018 expedition, Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan filters seawater samples to extract and detect environmental DNA from vertebrates that have visited the waters of the White Shark Café, an area in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii where white sharks gather in the winter and spring.

CREDIT: SOI / MONIKA NARANJO

Stanford’s Block, who has been tagging white sharks along the Pacific coast for years, is using eDNA to estimate their abundance — and, in the lab, trying to develop a test to detect the sex and reproductive status of bluefin tuna in the bay. “I think it’s important to have a new technology other than a fishnet to assess who’s there,” she says.

Enhanced fish-finding

Environmental DNA could also help monitor fish populations every year. Various species of salmon used to swim in the Monterey Bay region, says Closek, but they’re rare now, and scientists would like to know where they are and if they’re returning. Use of eDNA could track those species and determine if they are coming back to locations they historically inhabited.

Researchers are also eager to learn more about whales. Humpbacks were aggressively hunted in the Pacific during the 1800s and early 1900s and their population, once 15,000 strong, dropped to 1,200 by 1966. Since receiving federal protection a half-century ago, their numbers have been rising, reaching at least 18,000 in recent years. “Our understanding of where those whales are located can be further improved by being able to have these eDNA locations,” says Closek.

Scientists also hope that these studies can inform policy decisions through detection of hard-to-distinguish and endangered species in a location, or invasive species that threaten native wildlife. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has used eDNA since 2013 to monitor for two invasive Asian carp species in and around the Great Lakes, for example. “eDNA provides the here-and-now view of the living world that policy decisions demand,” wrote eleven researchers, including Kelly and Thomsen, in a 2014 paper in Science.

Not so fast

Environmental DNA methods have their drawbacks. Every step from sample collection to results can go wrong: “You have to be very clean,” Cristescu says. Very few labs, she adds, have the cleanliness standards needed for eDNA work, so the chances of “finding” species that are not actually present is high. And despite the sensitivity, it’s also possible to miss species that are there if the amount of eDNA is too scant or too degraded, or if a key step in the technique is not performed correctly.

Environmental DNA also cannot yet reveal information on the sex or age of individuals of a species, so the technology will probably not replace traditional surveys any time soon. But it can certainly complement them. “This is just a different net” for catching animals, Kelly says.

“It’s a new frontier of how we’re seeing the world in a really different way,” he says. “Who wouldn’t want to look into a glass of seawater and see starfish, and orcas, and everything in between?”

Editor’s note: The text was amended on August 5, 2019 to add Philip Francis Thomsen’s current affiliation with the University of Aarhus.