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Friday Fishy News - May 4 - I Have Returned!


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Hi Raiders,

Long time, no see! :biggrin2: Over the past month, I've spent 10 days on a fantastic cruise :thumbup::yahoo: (I did manage to get out on a charter from Port Vila for some 10-15kg YFT) and the rest as busy as buggery! My only chances to get in touch with Fishraiders have been at the Entrance Social weigh-in (though briefly!) and finally this evening, as I've now got a bit of spare time to catch up on all the posts I've missed! So, here's the news:

Firstly, here's a re-visit of the story of the "fish man" who was planning to swim the A.mazon River:

'Fish Man' completes his 3,200-mile Amazo,n swim

By David Langton

The Independent - UK

April 9

At 3,272 miles, its length alone would be enough to challenge even the most ardent swimming enthusiast.

Throw into the mix schools of flesh eating piranhas, bloodsucking toothpick fish, giant JILLLNNL;s and aggressive bull sharks and few would even consider dipping a little toe.

But Martin Strel is not called "The Fish Man" for nothing. He has just conquered one of nature's most spectacular and inhospitable waterways - the a shop river.

Fighting delirium, exhaustion, diarrhoea, pirates, a host of razor toothed nasties and very wrinkly feet, the 52-year-old has swum the length of the world's second longest river.

This extraordinary achievement has seen him averaging about 50 miles a day since he set off from the river's Peruvian headwaters 65 days ago.

If his feat is confirmed by Guinness World Records, it will be the fourth time he has broken the world swimming distance record.

Mr Strel was still in the water yesterday afternoon when The Independent contacted his support boat in the a shop basin via satellite phone. Although he has officially crossed the finish line, he decided to swim the six miles to the final town on the river, Belem, where celebrations where due to be held last night to mark his incredible achievement.

The project co-ordinator, Matthew Mohlte, said: "Martin is bearing up better than any of us would have imagined. To be frank we are all surprised he is able to walk under his own power at this point.

"He is running purely on adrenaline. For now he is just trying to get home, that's all he is concerned about at this point."

Giving an insight into how Mr Strel has coped with the challenge, Mr Mohlte revealed he slips into a Zen- like state while swimming where he focuses on memories of his life on dry land.

He said: "His mind goes to another place and stays there for hours. He goes into a trance state and when I blow a whistle from the boat he will come back out of it."

Despite his ability to deal with the mental rigours of such a challenge, his body has not been so lucky. Last week Mr Mohlte was given the grizzly task of removing Mr Strel's socks.

He said: "They are the ugliest feet I have ever seen in my life, they've got open weeping sores on them. I had to help take off his socks the other day, my hands were covered in this stinking slime afterwards. You cannot imagine the smell, its gut wrenching."

On Thursday evening he was pulled from the water for tests as he struggled with dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, diarrhoea, nausea and delirium. But despite having difficulty standing and being ordered not to swim by his doctor, he insisted on night swimming to finish the course.

Speaking last Thursday from his support boat, Mr Strel said: "The finish has been the toughest moment so far. I've been swimming fewer miles as I get closer to the end, the ocean's tides have a lot of influence on the river's currents, sometimes they are so strong I am pushed backwards."

He said he was lucky to escape encounters with the dreaded toothpick fish - otherwise known as the "vampire fish of Brazil" - which swims up the penis and into the urethra where it raises a spine and feeds on blood and tissue. Only surgery will remove it.

He added: "I think the animals have just accepted me. I have been swimming with them for such a long time that they must think I'm one of them now."

His support team, travelling in three boats and filming a documentary on his progress, carried buckets of fresh animal blood to pour into the water in order to distract potentially lethal predators. They also have armed guards on board in case of pirates.

This is Mr Strel's fourth river swim. In 2000 he covered Europe's 1,866-mile Danube. He broke that record two years later by swimming 2,360 miles down the Mississippi in the US. And in 2004 he set his third world record after swimming 2,487 miles along China's Yangtze.

Born in the former communist Yugoslavia, Mr Strel was a guitar student before becoming a professional marathon swimmer in 1978.

In 2001 he broke the world record for an uninterrupted swim, covering 313 miles in a time of 84 hours 10 minutes.

"As a young boy I was beaten a lot by my parents and schoolmasters," he once revealed. "This no doubt contributed greatly to my ability to ignore pain and endure."

An interesting comparison between two differing views of the same event:

Jumping fish injures woman in north Florida

Orlando Sentinel - USA

April 18

OLD TOWN, Fla. -- A sturgeon jumped out of a river and hit a woman riding a personal watercraft causing severe injuries, the latest accident involving the flying fish along the Suwannee River, officials said.

Sharon Touchton, 50, of St. Petersburg, suffered a ruptured spleen and had three fingers reattached by surgeons, but she lost her left pinkie finger and a tooth.

She had been camping March 31 with a group of personal watercraft enthusiasts near the town of Suwannee in north Florida, said Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The group went for a ride and Touchton was traveling 25 to 30 mph before the accident.

Touchton's husband was the first to come up behind her after the accident and found her floating face-down in the water. No one else saw the collision, so it was initially unclear what had happened.

"I thought she was dead," said Nick Touchton, her husband. He remembers dragging her out of the water. She wasn't breathing and he could see that she had bitten through her tongue and it was swelling, choking her.

Her fingers had been sheared off by the sharp edge of the sturgeon's bony plate. They were hanging by a strip of flesh. She was taken by helicopter to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where surgeons did their best to mend her injuries.

Parker said once Touchton was able to talk to investigators, she simply said something about a "big fish."

Parker said problems with sturgeon -- which are large, prehistoric-looking fish with hard plates along their backs that can grow up to 8 feet long and up to 200 pounds -- came to a head last year when 10 people were injured in accidents caused by the jumping fish.

Parker said the Gulf sturgeon migrate into the Suwannee River in March to spawn, and remain in the river until the fall. Researchers are not sure why the large fish jump.

Fish Jumps Out Of River And Attacks Woman

KLTV News - Jacksonville, USA

April 18

Four of Sharon touchton's fingers were ripped off, only three were repaired and it's still not certain if she will be able to keep them. Yet she is back to her paralegal job, even trying to type. Itt helps erase the memories from a recent trip to the suwannee river with her husband and

3-year-old granddaughter.

Sharon says "I relieve it every minute".

Sharon tried to recall the horrifying moments she was going about 25 miles per hour on her jet ski in pretty deep water when a huge fish later identified as a sturgeon jumped out of the water.

Sharon says "I felt like I ran a ground I felt like a mac truck hit me I remember nothing

until I was pulled onto a platoon boat and revived.

She doesn't remember the actual encounter with the fish but she knows it was

pretty severe. She had bit down on her tongue so hard, it was severed.

Doctors were able to reattach it, but it's very difficult to speak.....still, she is thankful to be alive.

And says it was her husband's quick actions and thinking that saved her.

Experts say sturgeons primarily live in the gulf but during the spring but move into fresh water to spawn.

Just this year, Florida fish and wildlife started warning residents about sturgeons not only because of their size, they can get up to 8 feet and 2 hundred pounds but also by their sharp edged bony plates.

And to continue with the fish "attack" theme :wacko: , here's another story from Florida (also note that the "king mackerel" appears to be what Aussies would refer to as a barracuda):

Man Hospitalized After Fish Attack

First Coast News - USA

April 8


BREVARD COUNTY, FL -- A freak fish attack sent a man to the hospital in Brevard County. Josh Landin says a 57-pound fish -- measuring nearly five feet long -- jumped into his boat and bit him. Josh and his friends say it happened as they leaned over the side of the boat to reel in a smaller fish.

"We were staring at that little fish ...and like someone waved a magic wand that went whoosh and it was suddenly a 5 foot long 60 pound fish!" said Rob Platner, victim's friend.

"[it] jumped right out of the water, hit me in the chest, knocked me over and bit my leg," said Josh Landin.

The fish was a king mackerel, which tore into Josh's hand and leg in two places. Josh had to get more than a hundred stitches at the hospital.

Deep sea fish growing slower due to global warming

By Rhett A. Butler


April 23

Changes in ocean temperature have altered the growth rates of commercially harvested fish over the past century, according to a new study published in this week's early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Analyzing the ear bones of 555 commercially caught fish to determine age, the researchers, led by Ronald E. Thresher of CSIRO-Australia, report that warmer temperatures in the southwest Pacific Ocean have enabled shallow-water fish to grow faster, perhaps making them more resilient to commercial exploitation. At the same time, deepwater regions have cooled, reducing the growth rates of fish species found at depths greater than 1000 meters (3300 feet), by 30 percent relative to 50 years ago.

While the results have potential implications for commercial ocean fisheries, the researchers say the trend might be temporary.

"With increasing global warning, temperatures at intermediate depths are likely to rise near globally... suggesting that... the decrease in growth rates for the deep-water species could slow and even be reversed."

Deepwater fish tend to be longer-lived than shallow water dwellers--some species, like the warty oreo (Allocyttus verrucosus) and orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), may live to be more than 130 years old. Their slow reproductive rate means they are especially vulnerable to overexploitation and conservation groups have recently warned that a number of deepwater fish stocks are at the point of collapse.

Some interesting related articles:

Global warming, cod collapse cause changes in Atlantic ecosystem

Government subsidies drive deep-sea fish depletion

10 commandments could save world fisheries

Global warming may be beneficial to some fishermen

Oldest Lobster Fossil Found in Mexico

By Victoria Jaggard

National Geographic

May 3


This fossil crustacean found in Mexico's Chiapas state in 1995 has now been confirmed as the world's oldest lobster, according to scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) (map of Chiapas).

The ancient animal has been dated at 110 million years old—about 20 million years older than previously known specimens—UNAM scientists announced in a press release on Monday.

"This lobster that we found in Chiapas belongs to the genus that is in Africa today," UNAM geologist Francisco Javier Vega Vera told the Reuters news service.

"This isn't a surprise, because at that time … Africa and America were relatively close." The two continents are believed to have started splitting apart about 120 million years ago.

The juvenile fossil lobster, dubbed Palinurus palaceosi, was among the remains of several ancient fish and crustaceans found in a quarry in the tiny town of El Espinal. Vera says the region could be where the evolution of modern lobsters began.

"The important message that we can give is that the evolution of these groups of crustaceans needs to be reviewed, since the specialists of the world thought that it started much later," Vera said in the UNAM press release.

"We could call them living fossils, since they have had a consistent morphologic pattern throughout many millions of years."

An Aussie Story:

Overseas fish imports stock Mackay markets

The Daily Mercury - QLD

April 10

FISHERMEN have turned their backs on catching home-grown seafood in favour of supplying the lucrative Chinese demand for live coral trout.

The change has forced fishmongers like David Caracciolo, from the Mackay Fish Market, to stock his shop with overseas imports such as mixed reef and snapper from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and white snapper from Bali.

Mr Caracciolo yesterday warned that consumers wanting to buy fresh Mackay reef fish could expect to pay through the nose if the trend away from fishing in Mackay waters continued.

"I think local fish will be a thing of the past," Mr Caracciolo said.

"Consumers will end up paying more money in the long run."

Commercial fisherman Les Pollard said live coral trout could fetch up to $40/kg in Hong Kong and China compared to $10/kg when dead.

He blamed the rising cost of taking a boat to sea for the move away from catching cheap regional fish plus the snowball result of restrictive green zones and people leaving the industry for the mines.

The number of reef fishing boats in Mackay had dropped in recent years from 40 to 17 and the number of fishermen had fallen 50%, he said.

But it cost about $10,000 for an eight-day fishing trip which meant boats needed to bring in at least $30,000 worth of fish.

"It's pure economics," Mr Pollard said.

"You've got to be economically viable and the only way to do it is to fish for the live fish market."

Another contrast between artices:

Fish Oils Delay Cognitive Decline, Studies Find

Canadian Press

April 10

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish may help prevent age-related cognitive decline, according to two new studies.

In one study, Dutch researchers examined the diet and cognitive function of 210 men, ages 70 to 89, who did not have Alzheimer's disease. The men were assessed in 1990 and again in 1995.

The researchers concluded that consumption of approximately 400 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to eating six servings of lean fish per week or one serving of fatty fish per week) protects against cognitive decline.

In the other study, American researchers looked at omega-3 consumption and cognitive decline in 2,251 white males, ages 50 to 65, who were initially assessed between 1987 and 1989. The men were checked again three and nine years later.

The study found no association between baseline levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the men and overall cognitive decline. However, an analysis of specific types of cognitive decline did find that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with protection against loss of verbal fluency.

This association was particularly strong in men with high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (disruption in the amount of lipids in the blood) but was not evident in men with major depression.

The studies were published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of an accompanying editorial recommended that clinical trials be conducted to determine the effect of dietary fish, fish oil or both in elderly people at risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Fish oil promises inaccurate

April 4

A test of fish oil supplements has revealed the nutritional promises on the packaging cannot always be relied on.

The Consumers' Institute has tested 29 fish oil and fish oil combination supplements. Four oxidised above acceptable levels and five of the products did not contain the stated levels of Omega-3.

Research writer Belinda Allan says of the four with higher than acceptable oxidisation levels, three were within their best-before dates. She says while the products did not fail standards, the tests show a need for tighter controls such as those prescribed in the controversial Therapeutic Products and Medicine Bill.

Study Will Probe Sonar's Effects on Fish

LA Chronicale - USA

April 16

An assistant biology professor at Western Kentucky University suspects an increase in manmade sounds underwater make fish deaf.

Michael Smith cited U.S. Navy sonar and oceanic shipping as possible noise pollution for fish, which use sound to find their way around and listen for predators.

With the help of his student Reagan Gilley and a $10,000 grant, Smith will study the auditory system of fish.

The study will expose locally-bought rainbow trout, silver perch and goldfish to various sound combinations at a special sound booth at the WKU Complex for Engineering and Biological Sciences.

Afterward, tests will be performed to see whether there has been hearing loss. The fish's brain waves will be recorded through electrodes while the fish listen to tones.

'We give a series of pure tones to fish through an underwater speaker, and we increase the intensity of the tones until we detect brain-wave activity,' Smith said.

Timaru couple sell biodiesel made from fish and chip oil

The Timaru Herald - NZ


Next time you order a scoop of chips, think of the motorvehicle you could also be feeding.

Timaru couple John and Karen Clarke have started producing and selling biodiesel made from fat and oil collected from fish and chip shops.

The biodiesel was sold for $0.99 a litre compared to the current price of $1.019 a litre for regular diesel at petrol stations.

Mr Clarke came across the possibility while he was looking at his future work options.

He heard about an Auckland chemist who had studied biodiesel and ended up buying the technology and recipe for the biofuel off him and set up Central SI Biodiesel on Washdyke Flat Road.

The oil and fat was collected from vats and then melted down.

It was then pumped into tanks and heated and a chemical added to break down free fatty acids, and then brewed for two hours.

From here it was pumped into drums where it was left to separate into biodiesel (which settles on top) and glycerin. Water and oxygen were then bubbled through it, and it is refined again before the final product is left.

Biodiesel is used in diesel engines with few or no modifications.

During the summer 100 per cent biodiesel can be used, but as it gets colder it is mixed with diesel to keep it liquid, as it solidifies in the cold.

In the spring and autumn months a 70/30 mix of biodiesel and diesel respectively was used and when it got frosty the couple suggested people use a 50/50 mix.

"Because it is oil it runs quieter than diesel. It can release deposits in the car so fuel filters will need to be checked initially."

It releases 75 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum diesel and can biodegrade as fast as sugar.

Salesperson Steve Fraser said a transport company in Ashburton was trialing the product, and a Timaru grain dryer.

"Its biggest selling point is it is better for the environment. Because the fat and oil comes from here you are also supporting local industry."

Century-old fish found off Alaska

BBC News

April 6


A commercial fishing boat has caught what may have been one of the oldest creatures in Alaska - a giant rock-fish thought to be about 100 years old.

The 44in (1.1m), 60lb (27kg) female shortraker rock-fish was hauled in by a Seattle-based vessel, trawling for pollack in the Bering Sea last month.

Scientists estimate the fish was between 90 and 115 years old.

The fish was brought up from a depth of 2,100ft (640m), south of the Pribilof Islands, AP news agency reported.

Reproductive potential

The discovery was made by the crew of the Kodiak Enterprise, owned by Trident Seafoods, when they pulled up an estimated 75 tons of pollack and 10 rock-fish in March.

The huge specimen was handed over to scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle where it was measured, photographed and documented.

The age of the fish was determined by removing an ear bone, known as the otolith, which contains growth rings similar to those in tree trunks.

The estimated age was between 90 and 115 years old - which is towards the upper end of the known age limit for the species, said scientist Paul Spencer.

The contents of the rock-fish's stomach were also examined and tissue samples were taken to measure its reproductive potential.

"The belly was large. The ovaries were full of developing embryos," Mr Spencer said.

However, scientists said the specimen was not the biggest - a 47in (1.19m) shortraker rock-fish has been recorded.

Volcano's fury throws up mystery fish


April 10

SCIENTISTS on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion have discovered hundreds of fish of unknown species, floating belly-up in the sea, following a spectacular volcanic eruption over the past week.

"It's crazy. We've never seen this with previous eruptions," said Alain Barrere, a scientific adviser to the island's Volcano Observatory.

Along with two scientists working for Reunion's aquarium, he collected specimens of the dead fish, which have bulging eyes, heads sometimes protracted by a beak and appear to have surfaced from depths of about 500 metres.

Mr Barrere said he hoped the specimens would help them determine "where they came from and how they died".

When fish first started biting

A change in skulls required

By William J. Cromie

The Harvard University Gazette Online

April 17

Before fish began to invade land, about 365 million years ago, they had some big problems to solve. They needed to come up with new ways to move, breathe, and eat.

Take the latter, for example. Fish usually pucker up and suck prey into their mouths. But air is 900 times less dense than water, so land-livers must bite into their food to get a meal. Researchers at Harvard University have just completed a study that gives a clear picture of how that change was made.

“Aquatic creatures developed the tools they needed to feed on land before they completely left water,” notes Molly Markey, a lecturer on earth and planetary sciences. “Our research suggests that these first tetrapods, four-footed animals, bit on prey in shallow water or on land. Although they may have occasionally captured a meal by suction.”

To become biters, the invaders had to change their teeth and skulls, and learn to walk. Along with Charles Marshall, a professor of biology and of geology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, Markey compared the boney remains of a 365-million-year-old fish named Eusthenopteron, two ancient tetrapods called Acanthostega and Phonerpeton, and a modern fish. The salamanderlike Acanthostega spent much of its life in the water, Phonerpeton lived on land. Both Acanthostega and Eusthenopteron possessed lungs and gills, so they could breathe air or water, like today’s lungfishes. All three ancients boasted pointed teeth, indicating that they were meat-eating predators.

Studies done by Jenny Clark at Cambridge University in England show that Acanthostega had short legs that stuck out to its sides, ending in what look like webbed toes. Such limbs would not be very supportive, so it’s likely that the old tetrapod slithered or scooted, rather than walked, when it ventured on land.

Slithering and chewing

One big question is why Acanthrostega and its relatives left their aquatic domain in the first place. Were they trying to get away from bigger predators, or were they looking for new prey to feed on? “It’s likely that both reasons are true,” Markey says.

Markey and Marshall compared models of the ancient tetrapods and Eusthenopteron, the fish that stayed at home. They published their findings in the April 16 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The comparison found that the key to evolving from sucking to biting lay in the tops of the animals’ skulls. These boney skull roofs, rather than being solid, were made up of lots of different pieces. Markey compares them to pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. “Imagine that skull bones are puzzle pieces,” she explains. “Places where they touch each other are known as sutures, and the bones can move around them a bit. The sutures get wider or narrower depending on motions such as chewing.”

By analyzing sutures in the skulls of the ancient tetrapods and fish, then comparing them with those in a living fish, the researchers could determine how the skull roof deformed under the compression and tension of eating. Such analyses led to the conclusion that Eusthenopteron was a sucker and the awkward-moving Acanthostega was a biter — perhaps the first one in the animal kingdom.

Think of that next time you suck in strands of spaghetti or chew on a piece of chicken.

Canada's biggest fish endangered: scientists

CTV - Canada

May 1

OTTAWA -- The biggest fish in Canadian waters is close to disappearing from the West Coast because of a deliberate eradication program instituted by the federal government.

Fishermen used to regularly encounter the basking shark, which can reach the length of a city bus, but in the past decade there have been only six sightings.

"The population has almost certainly declined by more than 90 per cent," Jeffrey Hutchings, chairman of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, said in an interview Monday.

The basking shark was the most notable animal on a list the government-appointed committee plans to present to the environment minister asking that certain species be declared endangered and given protections.

The shark, which has no teeth, swims through the sea with mouth wide open, ingesting vast quantities of plankton and tiny marine animals and filtering the water as it does so.

It also has a tendency to get caught in commercial salmon nets, destroying them in the process. That's the reason for the eradication program which lasted until 1970, said Hutchings.

"In retrospect it's almost unbelievable, and even at the time one would think it would have been a radical thing to do, but there were lots of eradication programs on at the time and this was one of them."

Hutchings says that the loss of a large predator upsets the ecosystem in complex ways, and the basking shark is a remarkable creature by any standard.

"Its Canada's longest fish, has the longest gestation period of any vertebrate, has an extremely slow rate of growth and it's in big trouble around the world.

"Why we took the shark out the way that we did? I can only think it was simply just as basic as taking the primacy of industry's concerns over its fishing gear over the primacy of the animals' right to exist."

Peter Ewins, director of species conservation for the World Wildlife Fund, says the federal government is just beginning to study the status of marine populations, and the list of endangered fish is likely to get much longer.

He said he believes that the basking shark is just as scarce in the Atlantic as in the Pacific but it was not possible to study populations on both coasts.

The committee also expressed alarm that aerial-feeding, insect-eating birds are disappearing. Both the common nighthawk and the chimney swift are assessed as threatened, while populations of a migratory shorebird, the red knot, have fallen by 70 per cent.

There is growing evidence from many sources that bird populations across North America are in decline, for reasons that are not fully understood. Possible factors include loss of habitat and the use of pesticides.

Also recommended for the endangered list are:

-The Eastern Pondmussel, found in the Great Lakes, which has fallen victim to the invasive zebra mussel.

-The eastern flowering dogwood, one of Canada's showiest native trees. It has fallen prey to an introduced fungus similar to one that has almost eliminated the American chestnut.

On the bright side, two once-threatened species - the sea otter and the peregrine falcon - have been removed from the endangered list because of successful recovery programs. Hutchings noted that work to protect the two species has been under way for more than 30 years.

"It underscores the point that although recovery efforts can be successful they take time. They're not going to happen overnight."

Many species subject to recovery programs have not responded in the same way, said Ewins. Bringing back endangered species from the brink is extremely difficult, and there are only a handful of success stories.

He cited the white pelican, the wood bison and the swift fox as notable success stories.

The committee's recommendations for listing and delisting species must go to Environment Minister John Baird for approval. Environmentalists continue to lobby against the requirement for ministerial approval, saying decisions should be made on scientific grounds alone.

Under the Canadian Species at Risk Act, the government must develop a recovery plan for any species listed as endangered, although critics allege that the recovery plans are frequently inadequate.

Customers misled by fish labelled as wild

By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Correspondent


May 4

Shoppers have been misled about the quality of the fish they purchase at some of the best known shops in the country, including Harrods and Sainsbury's, the food standards watchdog reveals today.

Up to 15 per cent of fish labelled as wild and sold in shops across the country is actually farmed, according to research by the Food Standards Agency. Its study comes amid increasing consumer concern over the veracity of organic, regional and farm-quality food.

Tests were carried out by the Government agency on sea bass, sea bream and salmon bought on the high street that can spot the discrepancies between wild and farmed fish.

Of the 128 fish samples tested, 10 per cent of the "wild" sea bass was found to be farmed, rising to 11 per cent of the sea bream and 15 per cent of the salmon.

Shoppers will have been left significantly out of pocket from the mislabelling, with wild salmon much more expensive than farmed.

Sainsbury's was named by the FSA for labelling farmed salmon as "Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillet" at its store in Stroud, although the supermarket strongly denied the claim.

"These allegations are totally unfounded - we would never sell farmed fish as wild," said a spokesman. "Each batch of our wild Alaskan salmon is checked as soon as it arrives in this country. It is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), so traceability must be particularly robust, and the system is independently checked and audited by the MSC."

The FSA admitted its survey was "a snapshot", with a spokesman adding, "we are not accusing anyone of deliberate fraud".

A spokesman for Harrods said: "It appears that on the day the sample in question was purchased, human error may have been responsible for farmed and wild salmon being mixed up. Revised stock control measures have been implemented to avoid a recurrence of the problem."

Other retailers accused included Asda in Gloucester. Its spokesman said it had not sold wild sea bass for five years and the mislabelling at Gloucester was "a one-off local error" whereby the wrong label had been used on the fish counter.

Miranda Watson, of Which?, called for local authorities to act. "Increasingly people choose food products on the basis of how they have been produced or reared," she said. "It is unacceptable that people are being misled in this way. Trading Standards must step in to tackle the offenders and prevent consumers from being misled."

• Wild fish commands a premium over farmed fish, according to the latest prices at Billingsgate, the wholesale fish market: wild, £25 to £30 per kg; farmed, £2.75 to £4.20 per kg

• More than 140,000 tonnes of salmon are farmed annually, accounting for 40 per cent of all Scottish food exports

• Estimated 1.6 million salmon have escaped farms since 2000, risking the survival rate of wild salmon


Edited by Flattieman
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Yes, welcome back Ryan...your Fishy News was missed by all...me included.

You dig up some gooduns.

Hope you had a great trip and looking forward to some pics if you have any.



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