National Fisherman

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WPMI) Scientists are predicting a massive, possibly record-breaking, dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.

A dead zone is when there isn't enough oxygen in the water to support fish and other aquatic life.

Flooding in the Midwest is pumping lots of fresh water and fertilizer from farms down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf, which could create a dead zone the size of New Jersey.

Alabama is on the eastern fringe of the predicted dead zone, while Louisiana is right in the middle of it.

University of South Alabama professor and marine scientist Dr. Sean Powers says if the prediction comes true and the dead zone reaches Alabama's waters, the main concern is shrimp.

"Fisherman will go to a spot, and all of a sudden spot where they catch a lot of fish at, they won't catch any fish," Powers said, "That's because the fish swim out of the dead zone."

Read the full story at WPMI-TV>>

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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