The “Global marine fisheries discards: A synthesis of reconstructed data” provided estimates for discards in all major fisheries in the world, as part of the global marine fisheries catch reconstruction project conducted by the Sea Around Us . It is co-authored by Maria Lourdes Palomares (PhD), Q-quatics board member, and can be accessed through Wiley Online Library. Get full paper here.
Abstract: As part of the global marine fisheries catch reconstruction project conducted by the Sea Around Us over the last decade, estimates were derived for discards in all major fisheries in the world. The reconstruction process derives conservative but non-zero time-series estimates for every fisheries component known to exist, and relies on a wide variety of data and information sources and on conservative assumptions to ensure comprehensive and complete time-series coverage. Globally, estimated discards increased from under 5 million t/year (t = 1,000 kg) in the early 1950s to a peak of 18.8 million t in 1989, and gradually declined thereafter to levels of the late 1950s of less than 10 million t/year. Thus, estimated discards represented between 10% and 20% of total reconstructed catches (reported landings + unreported landings + unreported discards) per year up to the year 2000, after which estimated discards accounted for slightly less than 10% of total annual catches. Most discards were generated by industrial (i.e. large-scale) fisheries. Discarding occurred predominantly in northern Atlantic waters in the earlier decades (1950s–1980s), after which discarding off the West Coast of Africa dominated. More recently, fleets operating in Northwest Pacific and Western Central Pacific waters generated the most discards. In most areas, discards consist essentially of marketable taxa, suggesting a combination of poor fishing practices and poor management procedures is largely responsible for the waste discarding represents. This is important in an era of increasing food security and human nutritional health concerns, especially in developing countries.
Zeller, D., T. Cashion, M. Palomares and D. Pauly. 2017. Global marine fisheries discards: A synthesis of reconstructed data. Fish and Fisheries. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12233.
Richness and zoogeography if ascidians (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) in eastern Canada
Abstract: Managers and policymakers in eastern Canada embrace science-based management of nonindigenous species and may benefit from having comprehensive regional species checklists at subnational jurisdictional levels. In this paper, regional checklists provide an account of the richness of ascidians in eastern Canada. Records of 58 ascidians resulted from reviewing 108 published sources, accessing data from two online databases, and collecting some common indigenous ascidian specimens. Analysis comparing the similarity of species among nine regions indicates that there is greater similarity in species composition between contiguous regions than between noncontiguous regions and suggests that there are four zoogeographic clusters in eastern Canada. Our checklists can inform managers and policymakers of the diversity of the ascidian taxa and can minimize taxonomic uncertainties of established nonindigenous and prospective invading species, for example, by identifying indigenous species that are congeners of nonindigenous species. The maintenance of checklists can be a valuable tool for the management of nonindigenous species as baselines to estimate changes in richness and to document the invasion status of nonindigenous species over time. For example, more importance can be placed on the spread of nonindigenous ascidians from one zoogeographic cluster to another than spread within the same cluster.
Ma, K.C.K., D. Deibel, K.K.M. Law, M. Aoki, C.H. McKenzie, M.L.D. Palomares. 2017. Richness and zoogeography if ascidians (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) in eastern Canada. Can. J. Zool. 95:51-59. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2016-0087.
Length-weight relationships for 22 crustaceans and cephalopods from the Gulf of Cadiz (SW Spain)
Abstract: Life history traits are available for many fish species in different regions, but less so for invertebrates such as cephalopods and crustaceans, though, they are increasingly needed for implementing an ecosystem-based approach. Recent food web modelling in the Gulf of Cadiz has identified invertebrates as keystone groups. However, information on life history traits of such groups remains incomplete in this region. To fill this knowledge gap, we report length–weight relationships for 12 cephalopods and 10 crustaceans collected in the Gulf of Cadiz from 2009 to 2013. This study reports, for the first time, life history traits of nine species in the area (Chlorotocus crassicornis, Pasiphaea sivado, Plesionika heterocarpus, Plesionika martia, Processa canaliculata, Solenocera membranacea, Allotheutis media, Sepia orbignyana and Sepietta oweniana). For each species, length–weight relationships, minimum and maximum lengths, mean weights, and depth ranges are presented. Overall, the results revealed that all species showed negative allometric growth (hypoallometry), except P. sivado, the only species showing an isometric growth pattern. We expect that this study will contribute to link sustainable fisheries with biodiversity conservation goals enabling the implementation of operational ecosystem-based management in the Gulf of Cadiz.
Torres, M.A., Y. Vila, L. Silva, J.J. Acosta, F. Ramos, M.L.D. Palomares, I. Sobrino. Length-weight relationships for 22 crustaceans and cephalopods from the Gulf of Cadiz (SW Spain). Aquatic Living Resources 30(12):1-6.
“Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity” is a holistic global strategic plan to include Antarctica’s biodiversity. Scientists led by Steven Chown, together with Sea Around Us Senior Scientist and Q-quatics board member Maria Lourdes Palomares (PhD) and others, filled in the gap using empirical evidence, expert knowledge, and general guidelines for conducting biodiversity assessments. Access the full article published in PLOS Biology here.
Abstract: The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.
Chown, S.L., C.M. Brooks, A. Terauds, C.L. Bohec, C. van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, J.D. Whittington, S.H.M. Butchart, B.W.T. Coetzee, B. Collen, P. Convey, K.J. Gaston, n. Gilbert, M. Gill, R. Hoft, S. Johnston, M.C. Kennicutt II., H.J. Kriesell, Y. Le Maho, H.J. Lynch, M. Palomares, R. Puig-Marco, P. Stoett and M.A. McGeoch. 2017. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiverisity. PLOS Biology. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2001656.
See also: A holistic global strategic plan to include Antarctica’s biodiversity (SeaLifeBase blog)
First record of the Charru mussel Mytella charruana d’Orbignyi, 1846 (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from Manila Bay, Luzon, Philippines
Meet the Charru mussel (Mytella charruana), a newly reported species in Manila Bay, previously documented as invasive in Florida. A team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin Vallejo, Q-quatics board member (University of the Philippines Diliman) and SeaLifeBase staff, Ms. Jeniffer Espedido-Conejar (University of the Philippines Los Baños) confirms its first recorded presence in the area. Previously identified as Mytilus sp., it was later identified via DNA barcoding to be Mytella charruana, suggesting its phylogenetic position within the Perna clade. Increasing trend in its abundance from 2014 to 2015 indicates likelihood of establishment and probable competition with the native mussel Perna viridis.
Abstract: This study reports the presence of the Charru mussel Mytella charruana d’Orbignyi, 1846 (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in Manila South Harbor, Manila Bay, Luzon Island, Philippines. In 2014, mussels previously identified as Mytilus spp. were reported in Manila Bay. The species was detected as part of an ecological dynamics study of previously-recorded marine non-indigenous mollusc species. DNA barcoding results suggest that the previously identified Mytilus are in fact Mytella charruana with an average identity match of 94%. The trends in abundance of Mytella during the 2014–2015 sampling season are described and the potential of this new species to become invasive and competitive with native Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758).
Vallejo, B. Jr., J. Conejar-Espedido, Manubag, K.C.C. Artiaga, A.M. Damatican II, I.C.V.J. Imperial, T.A.B. Itong, I.K. Fontanilla and E.P. Cao. 2017. First record of the Charru mussel Mytella charruana d’Orbignyi, 1846 (Bivalvia: Mytulidae) from Manila Bay, Luzon, Philippines. BioInvasions Records 6(1):49-55.
See also: First record of a potentially invasive mussel Mytella charruana in Manila Bay (SeaLifeBase blog)
Access the full paper here.