National Fisherman


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — They may look like guts stuffed in cellophane, but five fish hauled up from near-record depths off the coast of New Zealand are providing scientists with new insights into how deep fish can survive.
 
In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the U.S., Britain and New Zealand describe catching translucent hadal snailfish at a depth of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
 
By measuring levels of a compound in the fish that helps offset the effects of pressure, the scientists say they’ve concluded that fish likely can’t survive below about 8,200 meters (5.1 miles). That would mean no fish at all live in the deepest one-quarter of the world’s oceans.
 
The snailfish have little pigmentation due to the lack of light in their environment, hence their translucent appearance.
 
New Zealand marine ecologist Ashley Rowden, a co-author of the paper, said nobody had caught a snailfish in nearly 60 years and so he wasn’t overly hopeful when they sent down a box-like trap into the Kermadec Trench near New Zealand in late 2011.
 
He said they used mackerel as bait to attract the small sandhopper-like creatures the snailfish feed upon.
 
“When it came up, it was just amazing to see. It was ‘Oh my God, we’ve got the fish, and we’ve got more than one,’” Rowden said.
 
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>
 

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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