Field Talk: Local spearfishing stories tell of fish depletion in Chile

Historically, spearfishing involved a diver, a harpoon (or spear or trident) and access to an abundant source of fish. However, it has evolved over the centuries—especially within the last few decades—to include boats, masks, snorkeling gear, scuba tanks, wet suits and even spearguns. The modernization of equipment means divers are able to stay underwater for hours and fire mechanically propelled spears at faster rates than a person...

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ESA Policy News: August 27

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Terence Houston. Read the full Policy News here. HOUSE: NOAA CLARIFIES SPILL ESTIMATES DURING COMMITTEE HEARING Roughly three-quarters of the oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s ruptured well is still in the environment, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official reported during an August recess convening of...

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Q&A: Ecologists assess oil spill damage

An oil slick originating from a rig about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, which is dumping oil into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of approximately 25,000 barrels per day, is drifting toward the Alabama, Florida and Louisiana coasts, and scientists are still assessing the ecological impact that will result. According to The New York Times, BP—the company responsible for the rig explosion and resulting oil spill—moved today to...

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Peruvian boobies have the advantage as solitary hunters

Peruvian booby Just off the coast of Peru, the Humboldt Current produces one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet. Humans and animals alike have based their livelihood on the abundance of marine life that results from the deep, nutrient-rich waters of this coastal upwelling. Seabirds, which gather in massive groups off the coast to prey on schools of fish, have been completely sustained, until recently: Anchovy...

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Study shows bias against protecting coral reefs in fishing areas

A new study out in the December issue of the ESA journal Ecological Applications has shown that human interests are having a disproportionate impact on the selection of marine protected areas, or MPAs, which are meant to protect biodiversity in marine ecosystems. Their paper shows a consistent bias in Australian and Tasmanian MPAs toward areas with little commercial resource value. Volunteer diver undertaking fish transect in the...

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