Fish hunt yields monster lionfish in Key Largo

by TNP editor 2017-02-19

According to Miami Herald, a lionfish measured over 450 mm was caught during a weekend fishing derby off Key Largo, part of the Florida Keys. While the one-day weekend event for 48 Scuba divers, held annually since 2012, seemed to be a success, the single-day catches of 420 lionfish highlight the seriousness of such a problem – an invasive species that feeds on 50 important species of native fish has firmly established itself in the western Atlantic waters.

So how did lionfish, tropical natives of the Pacific, find their way to Florida and the Atlantic coast?  It was suggested that lionfish were inadvertently released from an aquarium during the hurricane Andrew in 1992. As lionfish are highly reproductive (an adult female can spawn 30,000 eggs every few days), they are now widespread in the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, and along the coastlines of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. And they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the window of eradicating this invasive species may have passed. Catching lionfish through divers may be the only viable method to control their population. We humans are doing what we do best – trying to eat our way out of a problem caused by the unwelcome invaders.

Lionfish fillets are now offered at Florida Whole Foods Market stores at $8.99 per pound. bon appétit.

Austin Yeung receives ICRS award

by TNP Editor  2016-06-26

Congratulations to Austin Yeung for receiving a student poster award at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sanctioned by International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) and held once every 4 years, the symposium took place on June 19-25, 2016 at the Honolulu Convention Center, and brought together the world’s students, researchers, and scholars in coral reef science, as well as sovereign and conservation management leaders.

A member of NaturePac and currently attending Shanghai American School, Austin is advised by Dr. David M. Baker, a biology professor at the Swire Institute of Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong.

Steve Palumbi visits HKU

Stanford marine scientist visits the University of Hong Kong

by TNP Editor 2015-10-7

In a lagoon around Ofu, an island in the South Pacific, marine biologist Steve Palumbi is snorkeling. Here, the sea temperature is much warmer, and Steve could stay in all day. While warm water is good for humans it is not so good for corals. With the heat, these corals shouldn’t have lived. Instead, they are thriving, and Steve wants to know why.

Through DNA analysis, Steve discovers that these corals survive by changing their gene expression. That, according to Steve, may offer hope for corals here and elsewhere to withstand the impact of climate change.

As Professor of Biology and Director of Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, Steve has been advancing marine sciences, protecting natural resources, and educating and raising awareness for conservation.

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Coral gardening

by TNP Editor  2015-06-04

Coral gardening is defined as the cultivation of coral for commercial purposes or for coral reef restoration.  Until recently, coral gardening or aquaculture has been driven by the live and ornamental coral trade and the supply to aquariums and zoos for public exhibits.  Lately, coral aquaculture, or coral farming, has seen a renewed interest by researchers and resource managers as part of an integrated solution to coral reef restoration.

Increasingly, coral is “cultivated” by locals, who live close to the reef, for income; by scientists for research; and by hobbyists as well as vacationers for conservation and eco-tourism. These efforts are happening in Fiji, Dominican Republic, Maldives and many other locations in the tropics.

Here is a good example of coral gardening and reef restoration efforts – at Fiji, courtesy of BBC South Pacific.

 

 

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Live fish trade in The Coral Triangle 珊瑚三角区活鱼贸易

Coral Triangle

by TNP Editor  2015-05-17

According to WWF, “The Coral Triangle is known as the nursery of the seas. Home to 75% of all coral species on the planet and more than 3000 species of fish, the Coral Triangle is a rich, yet fragile ecosystem that supports 120 million people in six countries.” How should we sustainably develop and conserve these resources? These are the challenges we face today.

「珊瑚三角区」是海洋的养鱼场。它拥有全球75%的珊瑚和3000鱼类的品种,珊瑚三角区的生态系统是非常丰富和脆弱的,亦是当地1.2亿居民赖以维生的资源。如何以可持续的发展方式来开发和保存这些海洋资源? 这都是大家面对的挑战。

The Coral Triangle is under threat. One of the major threats is coming from the live reef fish trade, where the use of cyanide to catch reef fish is prevalent.

珊瑚三角区的水底世界正面临威胁。主要威胁之一是来自活鱼的贸易,原因是哪里盛行使用氰化物毒药来捕猎珊瑚鱼。

Watch: Coral Triangle – the live fish trade by WWF 世界自然基金会短片 (2008)

Cyanide fishing targets and stuns the larger market-size reef fish. These fish are sedated by small quantities of cyanide poison. They are then moved to holding pens where they recover and await shipment. And they head to Mainland China and Hong Kong, and some to Malaysia and Singapore.

这种捕鱼方法主要是注射少量的氰化物毒药到礁鱼周边,打晕这些鱼。然后,将捕获的鱼移到休养笼里恢复知觉和等待装运。一般是运往中国内地、香港、马来西亚与新加坡等市场出售。

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