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Back Food Fishing


EU fishing quotas defy scientific advice, say conservationists

altFishing fleets will be allowed to extract more fish from European waters than scientists advise is safe next year, after two days and nights of negotiations in Brussels on the EU's fishing quotas. But there may be fewer discards, if predictions by fisheries ministers are correct.

Nearly half of the quotas set were in excess of the best scientific advice, according to the sea conservation organisation Oceana. Greenpeace said the agreement allowed for more fish to be caught than was sustainable, pointing to scientific concerns about overfishing of stocks around Ireland, including in the Irish Sea, north-west of Scotland and in the wider Atlantic waters west of Ireland.

Sainsbury's own-brand Maldives tuna to become 100% sustainable

altSainsbury's is to solely use Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified skipjack tuna from the Maldives in its own label canned product from next year.

Already the UK's largest retailer of MSC-certified sustainable fish in the UK – selling more than 130 products carrying the logo – the supermarket says the move is a significant step forward in protecting the world's tuna stocks.

How development organisations can tackle the fisheries challenge

altOverfishing is becoming increasingly recognised for the ecological disaster that it is. The capacity of the global aggregate fishing fleet is at least double of what is needed to exploit the oceans sustainably, and fishing methods such as industrial bottom trawling have proved particularly destructive. Add to this the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, leading to increased sea temperatures and ocean acidification, oil spills, agricultural and industrial run-off, pollution from aquaculture, and the enormous accumulation of plastic debris in water, and the critical situation for marine wildlife becomes clear.

But less is said and written about the social dimensions of this disaster. This is not simply a case of an industrial sector hurtling down a path to its own economic extinction. There is also a whole way of life at stake for some of the world's most vulnerable communities.

'Humane' fishing net wins Dyson award

altA young British designer has won a prestigious international award for creating a "humane" net to make fishing more sustainable by preventing small fish from being trapped.

Dan Watson devised a system based on a series of escape rings for fish – which can be fitted to a fisherman's trawler net – in response to the problem of overfishing and the controversial and wasteful practice of throwing away healthy and edible fish or other creatures as so-called bycatch.

Fukushima fish 'may be inedible for a decade'

altFish from the waters around the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan could be too radioactive to eat for a decade to come, as samples show that radioactivity levels remain elevated and show little sign of coming down, a marine scientist has warned.

According to a paper published in the journal Science on Thursday, large and bottom-dwelling species carry most risk, which means cod, flounder, halibut, pollock, skate and sole from the waters in question could be off limits for years.

SFF Services Ltd scoops environmental award at Total E&P UK’s SHE Awards

Environment UK whaleTwo Marine Mammal Observers employed by SFF Services Ltd have scooped a prestigious safety, health and environment (SHE) award from oil giant Total E&P UK.

Duncan Gray and Moira Moore received their award in the ‘Protecting the Environment’ category at the recent Total E&P UK SHE Awards at the Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen, in recognition of the high level of professionalism and dedication they showed as part of the oil company’s Laggan-Tormore development project.

Sharp rise in sustainable seafood products on sale in UK

Environment UK CodThe number of fish and seafood products on offer certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council up 41% to 988

The number of fish and seafood products certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has shot up by 41% in the UK over the last year, as retailers and supermarkets respond to consumers' demand to know the provenance of the produce they buy.

Fisheries minister Richard Benyon has hailed the progress made over the last 10 years as evidence of "a seismic shift" in people's attitudes towards the quality and source of the fish they eat, but admits that challenges remain in keeping the momentum going.

Eating a wide range of fish

fishFish are vitally important, providing billions of people with food, jobs and livelihoods. They also form a critical part of ocean food webs. Falling fish numbers affect other species that depend on them, like sea birds, and could lead to whole ecosystems (natural systems that support life) being badly damaged. So eating fish the sustainable way really matters.

Fish are a great source of protein and have health benefits. The Department of Health and the NHS recommends that we eat fish as part of a balanced healthy diet.

UK leads battle to clean up whaling commission

8-Whaling_619529aJapan accused of buying the support of members of the IWC with aid and bribery

Britain is embarking on a radical attempt to clean up the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which has been increasingly racked by allegations of corruption amongst its member countries.

Bangor experts save Isle of Man fishery

Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences has helped the fishery producing Manx Queenies, the Isle of Man’s queen scallops, to be awarded a sustainability certification under the Marine Stewardship Council programme.

Once in decline, the now sustainably fished ‘queenie’ fishery is providing a high value product sought after by best restaurants around the UK.