National Fisherman

Three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry is still holding its breath and expecting the worst. After all, sick fish are still turning up off Louisiana. Scientists are still probing potential problems with crabs and shrimp.

"There's still a lot of nervousness," said Bob Jones of the Southeastern Fisheries Association, a commercial fishing trade group based in Tallahassee.

How nervous is the seafood industry? After the Tampa Bay Times ran an article this month on the discovery that the 2010 oil spill caused a mass die-off of microscopic fish in the Gulf, the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition offered the reporter an all-expenses-paid trip to New Orleans.

The two-day trip, which the Times declined, was to include free French Quarter seafood restaurant fare in an effort to persuade Americans "that Gulf seafood is not only safe to eat, but one of the healthiest and most delicious choices you can make for your family," explained spokeswoman Amy Noesser Lee.

Read the full story at Herald Tribune>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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