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Marine Resources

2018:  FEB

June 2017 Issue

Ka Iwi Coast Off Limits
To Development

The Ka Iwi coast on the eastern tip of Oahu will be preserved from development after a 40-year-long battle to protect the area, The Trust for Public Land and a group of local partners announced.

The Ka Iwi coast is a key navigational landmark between Oahu and Molokai for fishermen and boaters.

The Trust for Public Land bought the property a year ago and has finished its sale to a local group, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui. The state of Hawaii and city of Honolulu have imposed restrictions to block any future development. Previous owners had proposed building resorts or luxury homes at the site.

Management Plan Released
For Southeast Fisheries

The Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) has released its 2016 to 2020 Management Plan. Prepared by the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean components of SEAMAP, the plan serves as a reference for official SEAMAP policies and procedures through 2020. The plan also includes details on SEAMAP activities, highlights how SEAMAP data meet critical needs for recent stock assessments and management decisions, and shows how SEAMAP’s core surveys have been impacted by level/declining funding. It identifies how expansions in funding could refine existing assessments and advance the movement toward ecosystem-based management.

Observer eReporting App
To Monitor Pacific Tuna Fisheries

Real- or near-real-time management of Pacific purse seine tuna fisheries is now possible for the first time.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and WWF are celebrating the rollout of observer electronic reporting tools through the new Observer eReporting App that will reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and bolster supply chain transparency and traceability in the Western and Central Pacific tuna fisheries.

A 2016 analysis conducted by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency showed that nonreporting, misreporting and under-reporting represented the greatest proportion of IUU fishing, resulting in a $600 million loss for the region.

The PNA, a subregional governance body that controls the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery, was the first in the region to adopt this technology as part of their fisheries observer program.

The initiative places ruggedized tablet computers and Rock7 Satellite Personal Communication Devices (PCDs) into the hands of fisheries authorities to better monitor fish catches and verify and validate catch records and regulatory requirements.

Highest Level of Adult
Female Crabs in Chesapeake

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s 2017 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey shows a 31 percent increase in adult female crabs and forecasts another year of improved harvests. This is the highest level of adult, spawning-age females recorded in the survey’s 28-year history. Spawning-age female crabs are the cornerstone to maintaining a vibrant crab stock and depend on conservative and cooperative fishery management efforts among the Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions.

The total population of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay fell a bit, by 18 percent, due to a decline in the number of juvenile crabs, but remains at the 11th-highest level ever recorded.

The adult male stock fell by 16 percent. However, the juvenile abundance plummeted by 54 percent, which is the fourth-lowest level on record.

The reproductive variability of blue crabs highlights the need for fishery managers to enhance resilience of the stock through adaptive management to compensate for unusual or extreme environmental conditions and the resulting impacts on reproductive success.

Lessons from Real-Sea Testing
Of Wave Energy Converters

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has released the findings from their project with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), which seeks to capture the wealth of knowledge and experience amassed in the Orkney supply chain from testing wave energy devices in real-sea conditions.

Results from the project will help wave energy converter (WEC) developers check their readiness for deploying in real sea conditions by taking open-water testing into consideration at an early stage in their design process.

The importance of budgeting for regulatory issues, the need for appropriate lifting points on a device, and the ability to reduce forecasting uncertainties through a process of refining and improving marine operations are some examples of the lessons learned.

Canada Lists Nine More
At-Risk Aquatic Species

Canada’s Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans announced that nine more aquatic species will receive protection under the Species at Risk Act (SARA): five freshwater fishes, two marine mammals, one sea turtle and one mollusk.

In addition, the St. Lawrence Estuary population of Beluga whale will be reclassified from threatened to endangered.

SARA governs actions to prevent the extinction of wildlife species and to secure the necessary actions for the recovery of species at risk.

New Species of Remipede
Discovered in Cozumel

An international team of scientists from Texas A&M University at Galveston, Denmark, Norway and Mexico have discovered a new species of remipede, rare crustaceans exclusively inhabiting saltwater caves.

While exploring a 6-mi.-long underwater cave in Cozumel, Mexico, Texas A&M Galveston marine biologists Dr. Tom Iliffe and Dr. Pete van Hengstum noticed shallow pools of saltwater on the cave’s floor. Although this cave functions as an underground river carrying freshwater to the Caribbean Sea, in a few places it is deep enough to intersect underlying saltwater, where the scientists collected several inch-long animals that have been identified as a new remipede species.

Remipedes are slender, multisegmented crustaceans lacking eyes and body pigmentation. They continuously swim inverted and resemble a swimming centipede. With their venom-injecting fangs, they have been observed to seize small shrimp as prey.

2018:  FEB

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