Posts Tagged Pacific

Nov 12 2013

Helicopter ride reveals enormous mass of anchovies, herded by dolphins and whales

When small fish are threatened by large fish or much larger marine mammals in the open ocean, instinct demands that the small fish group together to try to appear larger as a group.

But it’s not often that one of these swirling bait balls contains perhaps millions of anchovies and is large enough to dwarf, by many times, some of the largest predators to roam the ocean.

Nor is it often that a photographer and videographer just happen to be flying overhead when one of these remarkable spectacles plays out.

The accompanying image was captured this week off Ventura, California, by Liz Vernand, who was a passenger with Channel Islands Helicopters.

Read the full article here.

Jul 2 2013

Agency says Pacific great white shark not in danger of extinction

 A great white shark plies waters at Guadalupe Island in 2007. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / November 15, 2007)

A great white shark plies waters at Guadalupe Island in 2007. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / November 15, 2007)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday that the northeastern Pacific Ocean population of great white sharks is not in danger of extinction and does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.

NOAA had been researching the health of the great white population since last year, when the environmental groups Oceana, Shark Stewards and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition calling for endangered species protection.

The petitioners were reacting to the first census of great whites ever attempted. Conducted by UC Davis and Stanford University researchers, and published in the journal Biology Letters in 2011, the census estimated that only

219 adult and sub-adult great whites lived off the Central California coast, and perhaps double that many were in the entire northeastern Pacific Ocean, including Southern California.

Read the full story here.

Mar 14 2013

Catch shares leave fishermen reeling

 

SAN FRANCISCO – For centuries, men like Larry Collins, a garrulous crab and sole fisherman, were free to harvest the seas.

But sweeping across the globe is a system that slowly and steadily hands over a $400 billion ocean fishing industry to corporations. The system, called catch shares, in most cases favors large fishing fleets, a review of the systems operating across the United States shows.

“We’ve been frozen out,” said Collins, who docks near the Golden Gate Bridge. “This system has given it all to the big guys.”

More and more wild-caught fish species and fishing territories in the United States are managed under catch shares, which work by providing harvesting or access rights to fishermen. These rights – worth tens of billions of dollars in the United States alone – are translated into a percentage, or share, that can then be divided, traded, sold, bought or leveraged for financing, just like any asset.

Catch shares have been backed by an alliance of conservative, free-market advocates and environmental groups, some of which have financed scientific studies promoting the merits of the system, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Read the full story here.