Jump to content

Friday Fishy News - 1 September


Recommended Posts

Food for thought: fish can think

Bangkok Post - Breaking News

Sydney (dpa) - People who claim that goldfish can't remember things that happened more than three seconds ago are talking nonsense, an Australian biologist said Sunday.

Fish that Sydney academic Culum Brown has experimented with could find their way out of a trap he set them - and remember how they did it for at least a year afterwards.

Macquarie University's Brown told the Sun Herald that his fish could negotiate an underwater maze by spotting the difference between signs with green triangles and those with red squares.

The smartest in the school read the signs and reached the stash of fish food quickly but even the slowest got the hang of it eventually and found their way to the feeding station.

Even out of the laboratory, fish display intelligence. Brown found that, to get away from what they thought was a predator, fish in rocky pools at the seaside would jump from one pool to another; they couldn't do that unless they had a mental map of where the different pools were.

That fish aren't completely stupid has implications for how we interact with them, Brown said.

If fish can learn to read signs, they can learn to steer clear of fishing boats and fishing nets. And perhaps figures for fish stocks ought to be adjusted to take into account the capacity of fish to keep away from those doing the counting.

Brown reckons that people who keep tropical fish as pets ought to take cognizance of his research and start setting brain-teasers to keep their fishy friends alert and happy.

"I move the tank around every so often and introduce new rocks and plants and logs," he said. "If you look at the amount of activity they engage in afterwards, they are far more active. The change can be a bit stressful for them, but afterwards they love it."

Eat more fish and stay healthy


28 August, 2006 -

Dr Rosemary Stanton

WE would all be healthier if we ate more fish, according to Australia’s best known nutritionist Doctor Rosemary Stanton.

Dr Stanton was speaking at the opening of the Skretting Australasian Aquaculture Conference in Adelaide.

She says increasing the per capita consumption of seafood in Australia would reduce the incidence of several major illnesses including heart disease stroke and diabetes .. and significantly reduce personal suffering and the cost of health cover.

Dr Stanton told the conference that fish was the best source of Omega 3 and Vitamin B12 and was low in saturated fats and an excellent source of protein and iodine.

She said Australians ate far too much fat, sugar and salt and not enough vegetables.

Ms Stanton said most men only ate fruit when someone else peeled it for them.

Another speaker at the international gathering of fish farmers said more people should be eating sea cucumbers.

The title of Cathy Hair’s talk was “a sea cucumber a day keeps the doctor away”

Cathy says the Chinese have been using sea cucumbers in medicine since the Ming Dynasty.

Apart from being used as a general tonic sea cucumbers are used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, eczema, high blood pressure and whooping cough.

Most of Australia’s sea cucumbers are exported to China.

Sea cucumbers were Australia’s first export.

Indigenous Australians from north west Australia used to trade sea cucumbers to Chinese traders as early as the 16th century. This was at least 200 years before the European invasion of Australia.

The aquaculture conference has brought together fish farmers and their suppliers from around the world.

Tuna fish washed up on Welsh beach

Aug 26 2006

Molly Watson, Western Mail

EXPERTS were last night trying to discover how a sub-tropical fish ended up on a Welsh beach, providing new evidence of climate change.

In a year where sharks and dolphins have been spotted off the coasts of Wales and giant ocean sunfish seen near Land's End, Welsh waters gained a new marine visitor - a rare yellowfin tuna.

Friends Declan Lapham, 15, and Dai Booth, 14, discovered the 5ft-long 60lb fish washed up at Bury Port on Thursday afternoon.

Dai said, "We were just going down to the beach to fish when we saw something sticking out of the water.

"We pulled it out and it was the biggest fish we'd ever seen. We were shocked to see something like that in Wales.

"It took three of us to carry it up to the fishing shop."

It's thought it is only the second yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) to be found in Wales - one was washed ashore in North Wales in 1972.

The fish are usually found in the balmy waters off the coast of Sri Lanka and Australia and are revered by sushi and sashimi chefs the world over.

Debora Rees, managing director of Swansea Fish, who stored the fish overnight, said, "Initially I didn't think it was a yellowfin tuna - I thought it was just a normal tuna, which is rare in itself for Wales, although not impossible for Cornwall.

"But when we looked at it, it was definitely a yellowfin and I was shocked. What's happening to our waters?

"This is a new species for our waters - dolphins and sharks have always been around, although scarce, but this is incredible, very unusual."

Yellowfin tuna are prized for their meat and can fetch around £20 a kilogram.

But because it is not yet known how this fish died - Ms Rees said there is no evident damage to it - it cannot be sold commercially.

Instead it has been given to marine biologists at Swansea University to be studied.

Graeme Hays, a professor of marine biology at Swansea University, said the fish was being transferred to the department yesterday, where studies would be carried out to try to establish its origins.

He said, "At the moment we are looking at how rising temperatures are affecting the range of various species in the North East Atlantic, with particular reference to leatherback turtles.

"Although it's rare for yellowfin tuna to be found here, if rising water temperatures continue we can expect to see more of them. But we'll need to find where it's come from."

Yellowfin tunas are typically found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters.

Its discovery in Bury Port comes just a few weeks after a Penzance-based fishing vessel caught a bigeye tuna 70 miles off Land's End - only the third to be caught off British shores - fuelling speculation about climate change.

Tom Pickerell, fisheries policy officer for WWF UK said, "It's possible if the tuna were swimming together they'd have moved into the Bristol channel from south-west waters. But there have been a number of things like this recently.

"A 6ft sword fish and a number of porbeagle sharks were found off the coast of Northumberland, which is rare, and around 30 to 40 sunfish were spotted off Lands' End.

"Although such sightings aren't unprecedented they're becoming so frequent that we can assume it's connected with warming waters and climate change."

But speaking after the catch, Douglas Herdson, of the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said, "Global warming is often raised as the cause for the sightings but, to be honest, we don't really know why it has come to these waters.

"When there is just the one fish turning up it is more likely that it has just wandered off course from its shoal in the search for food."

The discovery of the yellowfin tuna in South Wales has sparked hopes that the Welsh coastal waters could become a new home for this big fish, which could provide a boost for fishing and tourism industries.

Wild salmon at risk from fish-farm fugitives

Charles Clover

The Standard, China

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More than a million farmed salmon have escaped into the wild from Scottish fish pens in the past three years, which scientists fear may be driving wild salmon towards extinction.

Figures released by the Scottish government show 1.6 million salmon have escaped from fish farms in more than 50 separate incidents since 2000, with 821,500 escaping last year alone. So far this year, official figures show 106,000 of the fish have escaped.

Recent scientific evidence shows the escape of farmed salmon from pens each year can lead to catastrophically reduced survival of the progeny of wild salmon, which breed with the domesticated fish.

Scientists call the effect the "extinction vortex" because they say it could lead to the demise of wild salmon populations that have evolved over thousands of years in particular rivers.

The latest figures would appear to confirm fears among officials of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation that wild salmon populations are continuing to decline despite the widespread buy-out of commercial nets in Europe and Greenland.

The figures, released in response to a request from the Pure Salmon Campaign under Britain's Freedom of Information Act, show that the largest numbers of salmon escaped from nets in the windiest places. Some 320,000 fish escaped from farms in Orkney in 2000, 313,000 fish in Shetland in 2002, and more than 300,000 in the Western Isles last year.

It is now estimated that up to 90 per cent of the salmon returning to some rivers in Scotland, the Faeroe Islands, Norway, Ireland and Canada are fugitives of farmed origin. Most domesticated Atlantic salmon are descended from about 40 original stocks of Norwegian fish that are genetically different from native British and Irish salmon. Scientists carried out a 10-year study on a river system in County Mayo, Ireland, examining first- and second- generation hybrids of wild and domesticated fish. They found that domesticated fish have both genetic and competitive effects on wild fish.

Farm salmon show an estimated success rate over a lifetime in the wild of 2 percent of that of wild salmon.

The study, by researchers of Ireland's Marine Institute and Queen's University Belfast, finds that 70 percent of the second-generation hybrids died in the first few weeks as a result of genetic incompatibilities.

This meant that a river can look healthy for some time after an escape of domesticated fish, with larger domesticated fish being welcomed by anglers. But a population collapse would occur in the second generation. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Fish Oils May Be Lifesavers

Fatty Acids in Fish Might Save More Lives Than Defibrillators, Experts Say

By Miranda Hitti

WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD

on Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Aug. 30, 2006 - Fish oils in fatty fish like salmon might be even better than heart devices called defibrillators at preventing sudden death from heart problems.

"Choosing fish two or three times a week is a good idea," researcher Thomas Kottke, MD, MSPH, tells WebMD.

"Grilled, baked, or broiled -- not fried," he adds. "Fried fish appears to lose all of its benefits."

The study by Kottke and colleagues will appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine's October edition.

Kottke works in St. Paul, Minn., at Regions Hospital's Heart Center.

Sudden Death Risk

Kottke's team created a computer model to check sudden death risk in a fictional group of people aged 30-84 in Olmstead County, Minn.

The researchers tested several scenarios.

In one scenario, people ate adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements (in reality, the typical Western diet is short on omega-3 fatty acids).

In another scenario, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were available in people's homes and in all public areas.

AEDs are used to shock the heart back into action if it develops a fatal rhythm problem that can result in sudden death.

In a third scenario, people who needed implantable defibrillators because of heart failureheart failure got those devices. Heart failure greatly increases the chance of sudden death.

Fish Oils Trumped Defibrillators

All three scenarios lowered sudden death risk. But omega-3 fatty acids yielded the best results -- even in healthy people.

Sudden death risk dropped 6.4% with adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake, compared with 3.3% for implantable defibrillators, and less than 1% with easy access to AEDS, the study shows.

What's more, about three-quarters of the imaginary lives saved in the omega-3 group were healthy people, note Kottke and colleagues.

Defibrillators Added Benefit

The researchers aren't saying defibrillators don't work. Those devices can save lives, Kottke's team writes.

In fact, sudden death risk was reduced most by combining all three scenarios - getting enough omega-3s, distributing AEDs, and giving appropriate patients implantable defibrillators.

But when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure may sum up the study's findings.

Omega-3 Sources

Kottke's computer model was based on omega-3 fatty acids from fish.

But omega-3 fatty acids aren't just in fish. Other sources include walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, broccoli, cantaloupe, kidney beans, spinach, grape leaves, Chinese cabbage, and cauliflower.

Still, "fish oil has a lot more omega-3s than flax, and that's the same with … walnuts," Kottke tells WebMD.

Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are another option.

If you eat fish two or three times weekly, do you still need supplements?

"Probably not," Kottke says. "It appears that that's adequate and that the benefit actually comes at fairly low levels of consumption."

Supplements aren't regulated as strictly as prescription drugs. So, if you opt for that source of omega-3, do your homework and choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable company.

If you do decide to take fish-oil pills, tell your doctor. That way, your doctor can keep track of all the medicines and supplements you're taking.

Not a Cure-All

Kottke stresses that his study didn't directly test omega-3 fatty acids in actual people to prevent sudden death. Such studies are being done in Italy and the U.K., he notes.

Eating fish or taking fish oil pills won't make up for smoking, inactivity, and other heart hazards, Kottke warns.

"We need to prioritize nutritionnutrition and physical activity right up there with brushing our teeth," he says.

His short list of lifestyle tips:

Don't smoke.

Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Limit saturated fat.

Get enough physical activity - for example, taking 10,000 steps per day (a pedometer can help you keep count).

A limited amount of alcohol may also be healthy (maximum one drink a day for women, two drinks for men).

Eat a small amount of nuts regularly.

Kottke says he sprinkles almonds, banana, and peaches on his breakfast cereal. His evening snack is a glass of wine and some almonds instead of cheese and crackers.

"Nuts are very good for you," Kottke says. But nuts are high in calories, so don't overdo it.

The bottom line: Your daily habits -- including what you put on your plate -- matters. "It makes a huge difference," Kottke says.


Edited by Flattieman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Flattieman...always a good read on Friday nights with your

great tidbits we all missed in the news.

Thanks again...keep 'em coming.


Thanks, Pete :biggrin2: . Here's a couple more:

Chance to net Commonwealth Games fish

News.com.au - August 31

WEBSURFERS will be cashing in their chips to net one of 36 giant fish that stole the show at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Seven of the aquatic sculptures have gone under the hammer online to raise money for charity.

The sculptures formed the centrepiece of the Games' opening ceremony in March, illuminating the Yarra River during a sound and light show spectacular.

While most of the sculptures have been distributed to councils and host venues, seven have been retained for auction to the general public.

Bidding opened today with all proceeds going to children in developing countries through Plan, the official Commonwealth Games Goodwill Partner.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So hopes the auction will have bidders hooked.

"Reel in the ultimate souvenir from our biggest ever party," he said.

New World-Record Shark?

By Jerry Gibbs


July 2006 (old but good)

Fishing Editor Jerry Gibbs was on-site in Boca Grande Pass when angler Bucky Dennis caught what could be a new world-record hammerhead, weighing 1,280 pounds. Check out the exclusive photos and story.

Once they’re hooked, giant hammerheads know where to go. The nightmare monster that ate a live and bleeding 20-lb. stingray bait Capt. Clyde “Bucky” Dennis served up followed the script flawlessly. It was 11:30 am, May 23 at Boca Grande pass, Florida, and an instant after it bit the shark left the pack of tarpon boats where it had lurked trying for an easy grab of hooked ‘poon, and roared for deeper water. Five-plus hours later and 12 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, his back and legs battered and hurting, Bucky had the fish alongside. Fairly beaten, gaffed twice, the fish was tail and head lassoed for its final ride. If everything checks out this shark will have shattered the 24-year-old IGFA great hammerhead record of 991 pounds. Bucky’s monster tipped a state-certified truck weigh station scale at 1,280 pounds.

The 36-year-old, Port Charlotte angler was alone in his low-slung 23-ft. flats skiff when the shark ate. The hammerhead had first lunged at a hooked tarpon pal Kenny Hyatt was fighting close by. Kenny ran his boat in a high-rev doughnut over the beast trying to scare it. Such creatures don’t frighten easily. This one moved slightly, saw the stingray, and chomped. Bucky was in trouble now, trying to steer and keep the rod from touching anything which would have queered his record shot. But then another friend, Brian Hart, jumped into the angler’s skiff. Bucky took the bow fighting chair and they followed the running fish.

Hart stayed with Bucky past Boca Grande’s second bell buoy. There the angler’s “crew” of other pals piled aboard. Of those men it was Larry “Mack” McLean who drove in the first gaff hook after five hours of battle. The flying gaff pierced the hugely muscled dorsal and held. Imagine the deltoids of a thousand pound NFL linebacker and you understand about a solid hold.

“After that first gaff she went ballistic,” Bucky says. “That huge tail was really going. She sounded again. We’d tried ten times to get the leader and get that first gaff in, but now it was. She wore down in thirty more minutes and we got a second hook in just behind the right gill slits. Then we got the tail rope on; once you’ve got that—or a head rope—you’ve got them locked. Unless you’ve got a small boat and the shark pulls you under.”

That almost happened. Bucky and his pals tried sliding the shark across the aft skiff deck to avoid towing the beast in. The boat’s entire stern quarter began sinking as the enormous girth of the creature was exposed. With four men pulling, it was impossible to raise the shark further than half way. It took nearly three hours to tow back to Gasparilla Marina.

The shark was loaded onto a boat trailer. The following day Bucky donated it to the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. Weighed on their scales it had lost 18 pounds.

“I hope for the record but even so I know somebody will catch a bigger one eventually,” Bucky said. “They’re there. There are three big hammerheads there -- a couple light gray and one black one-- all pushing seventeen-eighteen feet. Mine was just over fourteen. Two weeks ago we had two gaff hooks in the black one and they pulled. It was longer and bigger around than mine. Yeah, I’ll be ready to get back on the water pretty soon.”



Edited by Flattieman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...