Archive for April, 2014

Apr 30 2014

El Nino could massively impact West Coast fish

Seafood News

News Summary: April 29, 2014

NOAA is predicting an El Nino for this summer that could massively impact West Coast fish, and raise global food prices

NOAA is now predicting with 65% confidence a major el Nino event will begin this summer, possibly as early as July.
El Nino can have a major impact both on fisheries and on agricultural commodities.  According to NOAA, fish that remain in their traditional habitats on the West Coast during El Nino experience reduced growth, reproduction, and survival.  On a global scale, El Nino brings warm water to the coast of South America, suppressing the upwelling that provides for rich anchovy fisheries.  The result is that Peru’s anchovy fisheries get severely …Read/subscribe to the original story and SeafoodNews here.




John Sackton, Editor And Publisher , Lexington, Massachusetts News 1-781-861-1441
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Apr 30 2014

U.S. Fisheries – Reports on Economics and Status of Stocks


April 29, 2014
Fisheries of the U.S. – Economics and Status of Stocks Released Today

Today NOAA Fisheries released two important reports that continue to document positive trends in the sustainability of U.S. federally-managed fisheries–Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013. Together, these two reports highlight the strength of our federal fisheries as responsibly managed and underscore the broad and positive economic impacts that commercial and recreational fishing contribute to the nation’s economy.

In 2012, U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing industries generated more than $199 billion in sales impacts, contributed $89 billion to gross domestic product, and supported 1.7 million jobs in U.S. marine fishing and across the broader economy.

With regard to the status of our nation’s federal marine fisheries, in 2013, 91 percent of assessed stocks/complexes were not subject to overfishing and 83 percent not overfished. This underscores the strength or the U.S. fisheries management system and the significant progress that collectively NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and our stakeholders have made to end overfishing and rebuild our nations’ fisheries.

For full details on each report visit us online.

Warm Regards,

Laurel Bryant
Chief, External Affairs
NOAA Fisheries Communications

Apr 30 2014

Fisheries Economics of The U.S. 2012



Economic information related to commercial and recreational fishing activities, and fishing-related industries in the United States are reported in the annual Fisheries Economics of the U.S. statistical series. These reports cover a ten year time period and include descriptive statistics on commercial fisheries landings, revenue, and price trends; recreational fishing effort, participation rates, and expenditure information; and employer and non-employer establishment, payroll, and annual receipt information for fishing-related industries. The economic impact of commercial and recreational fishing activities in the U.S. is also reported in terms of employment, sales, and value-added impacts.




To download the full report, please click here.
Please direct comments and questions to Rita Curtis for commercial fisheries and marine economy data, and Sabrina Lovell for recreational fisheries data.
View the NOAA webpage here.


Apr 24 2014

Without fishermen, region’s harbors and bistros would be poorer



Fishing is really at the leading edge of the tourism culture. Just ask Ventura Harbor and Morro Bay, which have been trying to rebuild their tourism cred in part by reinvigorating their commercial fishing appeals and playing up their local seafood.

One of the oldest occupations on the Central Coast is fishing. Unfortunately, after years of regulation designed to manage the regions fisheries, it’s the fishermen themselves who are an endangered species.

That’s unfortunate for a couple of reasons. First, fishing is really at the leading edge of the tourism culture. Just ask Ventura Harbor and Morro Bay, which have been trying to rebuild their tourism cred in part by reinvigorating their commercial fishing appeals and playing up their local seafood.

Second, we are just at the dawn of a new era for the marketing of locally caught fish. Programs such as Community Seafood in Santa Barbara and a UC Santa Barbara spinoff called Salty Girl Seafood are dramatically closing the gaps between fishermen, consumers and restaurants.

Better information is the key to resolving problems such as seafood mislabeling, a pet issue for State Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, who claims that some 40 percent of California seafood served at Bay Area restaurants is not what the menu says it is.

I recently toured the Santa Barbara Harbor with U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, a Santa Barbara Democrat, and a number of veteran commercial anglers. Most are very small business owners with just an employee or two, and they are afraid that the rules and regulations for fishing have gotten so restrictive that it’s hard to turn a profit.

Longtime fisherman Chris Voss talks about fishing in terms that Warren Buffett might appreciate. “It’s really about portfolio management,” Voss said, adding that he holds permits to take lobster off the Channel Islands in the winter and then has permits for salmon fishing in Alaska in the summer months. He was about ready to make the big move up north when I caught up with him.

For all of its high costs and restrictions, Santa Barbara remains a key center for commercial fishing along the California coast. That’s partly because the city has maintained public hoists that allow fisherman to bring their catch ashore, as well as separate berths for commercial vessels.

Justin West at Restaurant Julienne is one of the pioneers in the farm-to-table movement. He was along on the tour to learn more about the seasonality of the fishing business because he tweaks his menu each day based on what’s arriving at the dock. Instead of relying on a few seafood staples, the Julienne offerings are highly variable, based on what’s going on at the harbor that day. “We don’t give our diner’s a lot of choice,” he said.

Likewise, Community Seafood is delivering its products direct to consumers who sign up for deliveries on designated days — and agree to take whatever the catch is that day. That means, among other things, teaching consumers that anchovies are for more than caesar salad and pizza.

The local sourcing of seafood has a lot of advantages for fishermen, restaurants and consumers. For fishermen, the ability to sell directly to an end user means higher prices and higher profit margins. “It’s a little more work,” said Voss, to prepare smaller portions or to sell in smaller lots, but it’s clearly worth it.

Also, the chance to develop a relationship with a chef or restaurant owner means a better understanding of market demand and customer needs. And developing relationships between suppliers and customers can create a more sustainable economy in the long run.

Interestingly, both Voss and West are fighting the same competitive battle. Voss has seen the number of individual or small-group boat owners dwindle as larger operations have consolidated fleets and built market share. West has seen a number of local restaurants come under corporate ownership, which then means common provisioning and less farm-to-table sourcing.

Fishermen don’t have the luxury of tearing out their raspberry patches and planting blueberries if market tastes change. They have to take what the sea gives them, which is why getting their catches quickly into the hands of informed customers really matters.

Contact Henry Dubroff at
Read the original article here.

Apr 24 2014

Lowly squid tops king salmon as Monterey’s top cash fishery

More than 6 percent of California’s seafood haul comes from the Monterey area, a region with a deep history of commercial fishing. Last year, catches of the humble squid generated about twice as much cash as the kingly chinook salmon.

We’ve crunched the numbers to rank the top 10 commercial fisheries in the coastal fringes of Silicon Valley, which you can peruse below.


Bryce Druzin
Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal

View the original article here.

Apr 22 2014

Glucosamine, made from shellfish shells, may have exciting new health benefits

Seafood News

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Daily Mail] By John Nash – April 22, 2014

Could the elixir of youth in fact be a potion made from the shells of crab, lobster and shrimp?
Last week, in the highly respected journal Nature Communications, scientists reported how the food supplement glucosamine, often made from shellfish, can make mice live nearly 10 per cent longer. That would add an average eight years to human lifespans, taking the average UK life expectancy to 89.

The researcher, Dr Michael Ristow, a biochemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, gave the supplement to ageing mice in addition to their usual diet and compared them with similar mice not given the supplement.

He believes the benefits are down to glucosamine making the body think it’s on a low-carb, highprotein diet. It does this by creating amino acids that the body mistakes for proteins.

In response, our bodies start burning more protein. This can keep weight down and, as a result, may also fend off problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Glucosamine supplements, available in health food shops, are already a popular remedy for arthritis, with annual sales estimated at £41.6 million, according to recent figures.

This is because glucosamine is thought to help the body produce synovial fluid, which lubricates joints and helps cartilage to repair itself. If cartilage isn’t repaired, bones in joints are more likely to rub against each other, causing arthritis — inflammation and pain in the joint.

The body itself produces glucosamine but the amount starts to dwindle after the age of 45.

However, the jury is out on whether glucosamine supplements really help ease arthritis.

While supplement manufacturers are keen to claim it is proven by lab tests, a 2010 review of ten trials published in the British Medical Journal found that glucosamine was not useful in reducing osteoarthritis joint pain.

The evidence for glucosamine promoting longevity may in fact be more promising.

It appears to protect against several common causes of death, according to a 2012 study by The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in the U.S.

The large-scale study, involving more than 77,000 people over an eight-year period, found those taking glucosamine for their joints had nearly a fifth lower risk of premature death. Furthermore, they had a 13 per cent reduced risk of dying from cancer and a 41 per cent reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease, reported the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Scientists have suggested that glucosamine may have an anti-inflammatory effect similar to that of aspirin but without the long-term adverse side-effects such as stomach bleeding.

There may, however, be another explanation. Glucosamine has been found to boost a process in the human body called autophagy, according to a 2013 report in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Autophagy is a system in which cells get rid of their toxic waste. If this process fails, the cell dies, explains Katja Simon, a researcher in immunology at the University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Medicine, who is exploring this process in human studies. ‘In the ageing process it has been shown that autophagy levels fall. It may be that things such as wrinkles, hearing loss and cancer are actually due to these falling autophagy levels and accumulation of toxic wastes in the cells.’

This may help to explain why glucosamine used in a cream appears to have an anti-ageing effect on the skin.

A series of studies presented to the American Academy of Dermatology in 2006 suggested it may reverse the ageing effect of sunburn on skin cells.

Tests from Harvard Medical School found that a cream made with the chemical reduced liver spots and freckles in those with sunburn-related damage.

Other studies presented at the conference showed that glucosamine in skin cream may stimulate production of hyaluronic acid, believed to help keep skin hydrated, and collagen, which can make skin appear youthfully plump.

But these are early days. As Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology and a consultant rheumatologist at King’s College London, says: ‘Glucosamine is an interesting molecule that could affect us subtly in many ways. If even a modest effect on ageing were proven, it would be a major advance. However, humans are not the same as worms or rodents and studies will need careful replication before we get overexcited.’

It should also be acknowledged the substance has potential side-effects. People taking the bloodthinning drug warfarin should be cautious, as glucosamine may make the drug too potent.

And those who are allergic to shellfish should also be wary, although the allergenic part of shellfish is usually the flesh and not the shell, and some glucosamine supplements are based on alternative sources, such as plant fungus.

Nevertheless, we may now be nearer the day when a lobster can help us to look less crabby.

Ken Coons
Copyright © 2014
Source: News

Apr 22 2014

Swim to Sea? These Salmon Are Catching a Lift


Salmon were put into the hold of the trawler Merva W this month for a trip to San Francisco Bay. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

RIO VISTA, Calif. — As the Merva W puttered down the Sacramento River, it looked like any other dowdy fishing vessel headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge. But no other boat had as surprising a cargo or as unusual a mission: The Merva W was giving 100,000 young salmon a lift to the Pacific in the hope of keeping them alive…

Read the entire story here. []

Apr 22 2014

Fish Oil May Help the Heart Beat Mental Stress

Fish oil may help the heart beat mental stress, says a recent study, “Fish Oil and Neurovascular Reactivity to Mental Stress in Humans.” It appears online in the May 2013 edition of the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.

The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil have long been thought to protect against cardiovascular disease… Read the entire story here. []


Apr 22 2014

One Fish Two Fish: Monitoring MPAs Educator Guide

“The California Wetfish Producers Association partners with both state and federal scientists to advance the knowledge of ocean cycles and their influence on coastal pelagic resources.  California marine resources now benefit from the best fishery management in the world, thanks to strict regulations and the collaboration of scientists, management agencies and fishermen.”

Read the original article —

One Fish Two Fish: Monitoring Marine Protected Areas Educator Guide

Apr 19 2014

Forming Partnerships – Spotlight: US West Coast Fisheries

This video highlights a couple west coast fisheries and their positive efforts to fish responsibly. A gillnet fishery, faced with closure in the mid 90’s, redesigned the “pinger” to ward off marine mammals from being caught (now mandatory gear); An entrepreneur fisherman who has created a direct from boat fish market, attracting thousands of visitors from all over southern California and opening new income avenues not only for himself but for the harbor and the area. There are interviews with scientists who discuss the sustainable fishing issues as well as issues of buying imported fish vs. buying US caught fish. Written, produced, directed, edited, narrated by John Dutton.