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Science 31 July 2009:
Vol. 325. no. 5940, pp. 578 - 585
DOI: 10.1126/science.1173146
Research Articles

Rebuilding Global Fisheries

Boris Worm,1,* Ray Hilborn,2,* Julia K. Baum,3 Trevor A. Branch,2 Jeremy S. Collie,4 Christopher Costello,5 Michael J. Fogarty,6 Elizabeth A. Fulton,7 Jeffrey A. Hutchings,1 Simon Jennings,8,9 Olaf P. Jensen,2 Heike K. Lotze,1 Pamela M. Mace,10 Tim R. McClanahan,11 Cóilín Minto,1 Stephen R. Palumbi,12 Ana M. Parma,13 Daniel Ricard,1 Andrew A. Rosenberg,14 Reg Watson,15 Dirk Zeller15

After a long history of overexploitation, increasing efforts to restore marine ecosystems and rebuild fisheries are under way. Here, we analyze current trends from a fisheries and conservation perspective. In 5 of 10 well-studied ecosystems, the average exploitation rate has recently declined and is now at or below the rate predicted to achieve maximum sustainable yield for seven systems. Yet 63% of assessed fish stocks worldwide still require rebuilding, and even lower exploitation rates are needed to reverse the collapse of vulnerable species. Combined fisheries and conservation objectives can be achieved by merging diverse management actions, including catch restrictions, gear modification, and closed areas, depending on local context. Impacts of international fleets and the lack of alternatives to fishing complicate prospects for rebuilding fisheries in many poorer regions, highlighting the need for a global perspective on rebuilding marine resources.

Read more: Rebuilding Global Fisheries

Problem Child El Niño Has Returned

By Phil Berardelli
ScienceNOW Daily News
9 July 2009

Batten down the hatches! The disruptive weather pattern known as El Niño has developed once again in the central Pacific Ocean, the first time since 2006, scientists announced today. Satellite instruments have recorded a band of telltale warming in surface waters of about 1°C. That could mean damaging storms this winter in California and across the southern half of the United States, as well as heavy rains in Central and South America, drought in Southeast Asia and Australia, and less productive fisheries in the eastern Pacific. On the positive side, El Niño's return also tends to moderate the Atlantic hurricane season and bring milder winters to North America.

Read more: Problem Child El Niño Has Returned

Fish Throws Away Its Genes as It Grows

By Elizabeth Pennisi
ScienceNOW Daily News
22 June 2009
Whether it's its extraterrestrial looks or status as a "living fossil," there's always been something fishy about the sea lamprey. Now scientists have added another oddity to the creature's repertoire: The lamprey jettisons 20% of its genome during development.

Jeramiah Smith of the University of Washington, Seattle, first suspected something strange while piecing together the sea lamprey's genetic sequence. The postdoctoral fellow and his colleagues tried labeling live lamprey cells using a technique that detects broken DNA. "Every cell in the embryo was [labeled] as dying," he recalls. So he took a closer look to see what was going on and got a big surprise.

Read more: Fish Throws Away Its Genes as It Grows

Tracking Killers of the Sea

By Laurie J. Schmidt
ScienceNOW Daily News
22 June 2009
A criminal investigation tool used to place a suspect at the scene of a crime is now being applied to track vicious killers in the ocean--great white sharks. Typically used in serial crime cases, geographic profiling evaluates crime-scene locations to determine the most likely area of the perpetrator's residence. Now, for the first time, a research team has used the tool to study sharks hunting Cape fur seals off the coast of South Africa.

Read more: Tracking Killers of the Sea

ECOLOGY: But the Butter's Melted

Laura M. Zahn

American lobsters (Homarus americanus) are iconic representatives of North America's northeastern Atlantic Ocean. The abundance of American lobster has experienced severe swings, but the cause of changes in their population is unknown. Recently the lobster fishery in southern New England has collapsed, while at the same time lobster populations in the Gulf of Maine have expanded massively. Wahle et al. use a time series analysis to create a larval settlement index that could predict the number of

Read more: ECOLOGY: But the Butter's Melted



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