National Fisherman

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the impetus behind a research project at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Ga., that will analyze the effects of spilled oil on blue crabs and grass shrimp. The researchers will examine the species growth under various conditions to see if the genes that regulate molting may have been affected.

The researchers also will send tissue samples, primarily from the shrimp and crab's endocrine organs, to a researcher at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah to look for physiological or pathological changes. The study is funded by a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Although grass shrimp are not typically harvested as a commercial product, they are abundant in Gulf of Mexico salt marshes and estuaries, and are an important food source for many fish. Blue crabs are also a food source for many fish in addition to being a valuable commercial catch.

Read the full story at the Times-Picayune>>

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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