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Fished Out

The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 23, 2014 - 52 comments

But you should see the size of the ones that got away

"Adjusting for time of year, and after checking and measuring 1,275 different trophy fish, she found that in the 1950s, the biggest fish in the photos were typically over 6 feet — sometimes 6 feet 5 inches long. By the time we get to 2007, when Loren bought a ticket on a deep sea day cruise and snapped this picture ...... the biggest fish were averaging only a foot, or maybe a little over. That's a staggering change. The biggest fish on display in 2007 was a shark, and sharks, Loren calculated, are now half the size they used to be in the '50s. As to weight, she figured the average prizewinner dropped from nearly 43.8 pounds to a measly 5 pounds — an 88 percent drop. Radiolab reports on how the average trophy fish caught at Florida's Key West has shrunk considerably since the fifties." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 3, 2014 - 32 comments

"So a sardine is not a sardine is not a sardine!"

The Sardine Museum with host Tony Nunziata (part two, part three, part four, part five). Bonus: Tony tells a short story. [more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Jul 23, 2013 - 8 comments

"an early 1960s self-portrait as a pitchman"

The Fine Art of Resilience: Lessons from Stanley Meltzoff [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 3, 2013 - 1 comment

Basically, treat it like you just caught a zombie.

New York City officials are asking visitors to Central Park's Harlem Meer to beware of the northern snakehead fish, a predator common in the rivers and lakes of Asia but considered an invasive species in American waters, which had been spotted. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2013 - 45 comments

smart bird

"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence."
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 27, 2012 - 68 comments

We will decide who comes to fish here, and the circumstances under which they fish

A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 12, 2012 - 55 comments

Red Snappers Are Red Rated

As of today, Whole Foods will no longer sell red rated fish, and will sell only sustainable species. Some fishermen are fuming. “It’s totally maddening,” Mr. Sanfilippo said. “They’re just doing it to make all the green people happy.”
posted by Xurando on Apr 22, 2012 - 118 comments

Took a fish wheel out to see a movie / Didn't have to pay to get it in

Right around 1879, the fishwheel (historical images, McCord replica) came to the Columbia River. A clever application of mill-like thinking to traditional net fishing techniques, the fishwheel's river-powered automation of upstream harvesting revolutionized canning in Oregon and Washington, drawing both commercial attention and critical concern [NYT 1881, PDF]. Two men, Thornton Williams and William Rankin McCord, each filed patents for fishwheel designs in 1881 (#245251) and 1882 (#257960) respectively; Williams brought an infringement suit against McCord which was dismissed on the grounds that the invention was not new, being based directly on the publicly documented work of one Samuel Wilson in 1879. Fishwheels were fair game. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Jun 28, 2011 - 15 comments

the future of food and farming

How to feed 9 billion people: The global food supply is starting to get tight, with increasing sensitivity to droughts and floods causing price spikes and food shortages. The UK commissioned a report to examine how to feed a planet with a population that is set to increase to 9 billion by 2050. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 22, 2011 - 50 comments

Total jelly domination - “like cockroaches”

"The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish.. Total jelly domination would be like turning back the clock to the Precambrian world, more than 550 million years ago."
posted by stbalbach on Jan 13, 2011 - 69 comments

The reds are coming.

Four years after being spawned Fraser River Sockeye salmon return to the same creeks in which they were born to mate, spawn and die. Salmon have a strong preference for heavier returns every four years. Prior to 1913 this cycle peaked every second odd year (IE: 1905 - 1909 - 1913). However in 1913 (a year that had a record high 31 million fish harvested) construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway along side the Frasier river resulted in massive rock slides that prevented most of the returning fish from making it to their ancestral streams. Clean up efforts in subsequent years and the construction of fish ladders at Hell's Gate saved the Salmon from extinction and switched peaked returns to every second even year (IE: 2010 - 2014 - 2018) but numbers of fish returning were way down. Until now. This year's projected returns are the highest since 1913's record year and not far short of it. This is bound to make the organizers of Salute to the Sockeye very happy. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Aug 25, 2010 - 37 comments

Tuna’s End

Tuna’s End Adapted from the book "Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food" for the New York Times. A pretty bleak look at the state of world wide tuna fishing.
posted by chunking express on Jul 13, 2010 - 55 comments

Fisheries management: catch shares

How to Save a Dying Ocean - "New England fishermen have mixed feelings about a programme designed to allow overfished species to recover. Mark Schrope reports on how catch shares have scientists fishing for answers." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 7, 2010 - 8 comments

Salmon at the Food Bank

Salmon, Trout Populations Surge in Oregon Rivers
Steelhead, along with Coho and Chinook salmon, have made a spectacular return to local streams in the past year, leaving sportsmen exultant and putting food on the tables of struggling Oregonians.
posted by kliuless on Jan 21, 2010 - 32 comments

Aquacalypse Now

The End of Fish - maybe it's finally time for an environmental accounting, cuz the 'bill' is coming due; stocks and flows, folks.
posted by kliuless on Oct 8, 2009 - 74 comments

Life is beautiful. For some of us, more than others. Ah, fishing.

In the early 1990s, John Lurie videotaped his vacations with William Dafoe, where they did their own comedic re-interpretation of an early-morning fishing show. From this tape (or possibly so his fishing trips could be tax write-off), Fishing with John was born. The show is a series of six episodes (segmented on YouTube), each at a different location with a different fishing friend (though Lurie's trip through the Andaman Sea with Dennis Hopper spans the last two episodes). The show, called by some fishing as performance art, is pared with a soundtrack that is a mix of sounds, part Lurie's band The Lounge Lizards (discography), part overly dramatic .. something.
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 8, 2009 - 32 comments

Monkeys fish.

Scientists find monkeys who know how to fish. Apparently, they're not the first. Although they might be the first to do so without tools. I, for one, want some sashimi.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Jun 10, 2008 - 23 comments

Armless Hunters

Armless Hunters [more inside]
posted by dios on Sep 12, 2007 - 47 comments

Frankenfish

The story began quietly enough on May 18, 2002, when an angler caught an 18 inch fish in a Crofton, Maryland pond. In 2005 a fisherman is reported saying "We would throw one in the cooler, two others would jump out and we'd have to chase them through the woods." Frankenfish, timeline of the snakehead story in the USA. The snakehead is a voracious, predatorial fish, capable of walking, attacking men, living up to 4 days out of water and now spreading from state to state. Video of snakeheads eating (disturbing). Another kind of snakehead, the smuggler of humans. Mentioned previously on MetaFilter. [via]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 6, 2007 - 37 comments

What's like to be a fish?

Air and water. Photographer and professional diver Emmanuel Donfut takes not-completely-underwater pictures. His latest series involves both fish and fishermen caught in the act, but he's been interested in other aquatic creatures, and alcoholic ones as well. More pics here, and more on the technique used here.
posted by elgilito on Apr 28, 2006 - 10 comments

Shuck an Oyster, Smoke a Bluefish, Sail a Skipjack, Call a Duck, Haul a Net

Wade in the Water In 2004, Smithsonian Folklife Festival featured the maritime cultures of the Mid-Atlantic region, from Long Island to North Carolina. Now, this site gives a home on the web to the cultural documentation gathered for the festival -- music, recipes, stories and oral history, an interactive map, the occupational folklore and natural history of regional fisheries, photos, video, and more. The material, ably compiled by folklorists and educators, creates a lasting and very accessible archive of festival highlights as well as an excellent overview of the distinct coastal culture of the Mid-Atlantic. Don't miss the great menhaden net-hauling chantey Help Me to Raise 'Em (links to mp3).
posted by Miko on Mar 27, 2006 - 7 comments

Myself, I like a black seabass. Grilled.

How Many Fish are in the Sea? During the heady days of the late 19th century, in response to a perceived decline in coastal finfish stocks, Spencer Baird and his clutch of young naturalists at the Smithsonian set out to find the answer. In 1871, Baird founded the U.S. Fish Commission. The Comission set up operations in Woods Hole, MA, where it continues its work today as the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (a branch of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service). The Fish Census of 1880 established the fist benchmark on fish populations in coastal waters; crews of Gloucester schooners competed to see who could bring the most bizarre fish finds up from the platueaus of the Grand Banks, and America’s first research vessel, the Albatross, was purpose-built for the project. Baird's protege (and later successor) George Brown Goode compiled the data into the first comprehensive reference work on American fisheries. Known to students of salt water as “Goode’s Fisheries”, the report (beautifully illustrated) remains invaluable to researchers today, as today's fish populations dip into an even more drastic decline.
posted by Miko on Nov 30, 2005 - 13 comments

Young Boy and the Sea

Big Fish! 14 year old Bobby Capri Jr. catches a 52 pound striped bass in a kayak off the Atlantic City shore. But he's not the first kid to reel in a big fish. The adult world record for striped bass was also caught in New Jersey. So, who here has the best fish story?
posted by MsVader on Jun 30, 2004 - 20 comments

Gently pump it's little stomach

Trout Stomach Pump : Summer's almost here, so you'd best start looking for clues. " Finally I observe what the fish are actually feeding on. To do this I have to catch a fish. This is frequently the hardest part, but I can usually scam one up somehow. I then pump it's stomach.....while securely holding the fish I gently insert the tube down the fishís throat as far as I can. I take particular care not to injure the fish during this process.....The suction created by the pump extracts the stomach contents. I carefully release the fish unharmed into the water (I have never lost a fish in this process). Then I squeeze the bulb and deposit the fish's stomach contents into my hand.  It is then a simple process to match the stomach contents to the contents of my fly box"
posted by troutfishing on May 24, 2004 - 24 comments

Mmmm. Sushi... Mmmm. Salmon steaks...

The SalmoFan: So long, and thanks for all the fish and animals, and plants... Amidst the catastrophic decline of large ocean fish, Salmon farmers can choose the hue of their "farmed" Salmon with the SalmoFan. [Meanwhile, these same salmon are fed on a factory fishing catch process which effectively strips most large life forms from the ocean.] With 1/4 of all mammmals and 1/2 of all plant species facing extinction, Is the planet truly at a crossroads? Are we losing the extinction battle? .."Overfishing is a global problem. People are taking marine life faster than it can reproduce. The world's catch peaked at 86 million tons in 1989, up fourfold in 50 years.....But many governments, including the United States, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and China, kept on pouring subsidies into commercial fishing fleets to keep them afloat...The Gulf of California in Mexico is not dead, but it is exhausted from overfishing, which has caused every important species of fish there to decline....Crucial fisheries have collapsed worldwide."

Contrast that with This: "[once upon a time there were] cod shoals "so thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them." There were six- and seven-foot-long codfish weighing as much as 200 pounds. There were great banks of oysters as large as shoes. At low tide, children were sent to the shore to collect 10-, 15-, even 20-pound lobsters with hand rakes for use as bait or pig feed. Eight- to 12-foot sturgeon choked New England rivers, and salmon packed streams from the Hudson River to Hudson's Bay. Herring, squid and capelin (a small open-water fish seven inches long) spawning runs were so gigantic they astonished observers for more than four centuries"
posted by troutfishing on May 27, 2003 - 31 comments

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