National Fisherman


SEATTLE -- A tiny white sliver inside the heads of fish could hold evidence of a century's worth of humans wrecking the environment: atomic bombs, overfishing, even climate change.
 
Fish ear bones, also known as otoliths, are like tree rings for the ocean. A layer of calcium carbonate laid down each year offers a snapshot of both the fish's yearly growth and its surrounding ocean conditions.
 
The University of Washington's Burke Museum has been transferring and cataloging 2 million pairs of otoliths, representing some 80 species. Scientists hope this collection, gathered over the past half-century, will help them track the health of fish populations and ocean conditions up and down the West Coast.
 
The otolith collection, dating to the 1960s, had been sitting in an old Sand Point hangar belonging to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Last year, Ted Pietsch, a UW professor and curator of fishes at the Burke Museum, got a grant to transfer the otoliths to the museum — all of a 10-minute drive away.
 
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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