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.

ICRS13 proceedings

by Austin Yeung 2016-12-30

The proceedings of ICRS13, the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, held in June 2016 at the Honolulu Convention Center, has now been published.

To learn more, click here to go to the ICRS13 proceedings page or download its table of contents here.

My paper with Prof. David M. Baker:

Session 80: A.H. Yeung, D.M. Baker (2016) A turnaround at Sanya National Coral Reef Nature Reserve?

Proc 13th Intl Coral Reef Symposium Honolulu: 561-580

can also be downloaded here.

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.

Malaysia creates large MPA in Sabah

by Alan Yeung  2016-06-04

Sabah announces a ‘huge’ marine protected area and shark sanctuary with over 1 million hectares covering the peninsula and 50 islands.  It is named Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) after the first official, and will officially be the biggest marine park and second largest coral reef reserve in Malaysia.

The outcome culminates over ten years of government, scientific, community, and nonprofit organization efforts.  The area is worth protecting because of its richness in biodiversity and its impact on local fisheries.

In a 2012 baseline study, Waheed et al. reported 49% of the hard coral cover in TMP, mostly fringing and patch reefs, are in good to excellent condition. Yet, only 7% of the surveyed reefs had 75% or more coverage. There is evidence of blast and poison fishing, but the damages, such as rubble fragments, appear to be old.  Overfishing also seems to be an issue as turtles, sharks and other high-value reef species are missing.

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Palau approves new massive marine reserve

Palau Rock Islands

by Alan Yeung 2015-10-27

On Thursday Palau’s Congress approved the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, making good on a pledge made by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. in 2014, for Palau to protect 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers), or 80 percent of the Pacific island nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or the territorial waters that it controls.

The new sanctuary will exclude all extractive activities, such as mining, and industrial-scale fishing and exports of catches.

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. indicated he would sign the measure into law as soon as posssible, thus establishing Palau as one of the world’s leading nations in marine conservation.  Palau now leads the world in terms of setting aside the highest percentage of its EEZ for full marine protection.

According to NGS  Palau is host to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral.

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Tuna farming 金枪鱼养殖

tuna farmsby Alan Yeung  2015-05-27

Today, I came across a book I read last summer, written by Paul Greenberg, called Four Fish.  It talks about the dwindling supplies of ocean fish in the wild, and the current state of aquaculture. Out of curiosity, I decided to take another look at the current tuna farming activities.

It appears researchers at Kinki University in Japan have made some recent progress in a closed-loop cycle, where juveniles of bluefin tuna are spawn in captivity and can be successfully raised to maturity. But this is a project in its infancy. To date, Kinki does not need to take fish from the sea.

Yonathan Zohar and his team of scientists at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology are making their first attempt in North America.

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Indonesia blows up illegal fishing 印尼炸沉非法捕捞渔船

Indonesian blows up illegal fishing boats  印尼再显威风 炸沉外国非法捕捞渔船

2432CAD400000578-0-image-a-52_1419173994730by Alan Yeung  2015-05-21

According to media reports, Indonesian Navy blew up 41 illegal fishing vessels at six locations after obtaining a court order. These fishing boats, detained by Indonesian government due to illegal fishing in Indonesian waters, are from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines.

媒体报道 印尼当局将41艘被法庭裁定涉及非法捕捞行为的渔船, 在全国六处地点分批炸沉。这些渔船分别来自中国、越南、马来西亚、泰国和菲律宾。

Besides teaching the illegal fishermen a lesson, Jakarta wishes to improve the welfare of Indonesia’s fishing industry and uphold her sovereignty. 雅加达不但希望通过炸沉渔船来给其他外国渔船“好好的上一课”,而且希望能间接改善印尼渔民福利,并维护印尼主权。

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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.


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.


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