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Analysis and Comment (17)

We need to play our cards right if Australia’s marine environments are to keep us afloat. We need to play our cards right if Australia’s marine environments are to keep us afloat. Saspotato/Flickr

Marine science: challenges for a growing ‘blue economy’

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia…
We love our fish ‘n’ chips, but most Australians don’t think our fisheries are sustainable. We love our fish ‘n’ chips, but most Australians don’t think our fisheries are sustainable. Simon Collison/Flickr

Why don’t we believe Australia’s fisheries are sustainable?

Australians love seafood. We each consumed an average of 25 kilograms of seafood in 2010 – an amount that has increased significantly over the last 30 years. Worldwide, fish consumption now exceeds beef…
Skate, or “skate”? Skate, or “skate”? Andrew M Griffiths

Unchecked food fraud threatens vulnerable fish

The deliberate act of falsely representing, labelling or advertising food, known as “food fraud”, is not a recent phenomenon. The deceitful adulteration of food has a long history based on the promise…
Trawlermen making the seabed a better plaice. Trawlermen making the seabed a better plaice. Julien Behal/PA

A bottom-trawling ban could see fish stocks fall

Bottom trawling by fishing fleets has caused widespread concern over the environmental damage done to seabed habitats and marine life. It seems obvious that powerful boats towing large heavy nets that…
In the hold, but for how long? Wasting millions of tonnes of seafood is a tragedy. In the hold, but for how long? Wasting millions of tonnes of seafood is a tragedy. Maurice McDonald/PA Archive

We must stop committing valuable fish to a watery grave

In European waters controlled by the EU Common Fisheries Policy, the discarding of fish overboard has long been condemned by environmentalists and regretted by fishers. According to the UN Food and Agriculture…
“Dolphin friendly” can be an empty promise: labels should tell us the entire impact of a tuna fishery. “Dolphin friendly” can be an empty promise: labels should tell us the entire impact of a tuna fishery. Leeds Museums & Galleries

Dolphin-friendly tuna: we’re worrying about the wrong species

Seafood is increasingly marketed as the clean, healthy choice for consumers – full of good oils and proteins and low in fat – with canned tuna a favourite cheap source of healthy protein. But science provides…
We won’t have sustainable fishing until we stop demanding so much seafood. We won’t have sustainable fishing until we stop demanding so much seafood. George Hatcher

Seafood sustainability not a sustainable reality

In 1883, the eminent English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley made his now infamous proclamation on the infinite bounty of the sea: Probably all the great sea fisheries are inexhaustible; that is to say…
Banning the super trawler will do little to improve fur seal welfare. Banning the super trawler will do little to improve fur seal welfare. Nuytsia@Tas/flickr

What will banning the super trawler a second time achieve?

Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig and Environment Minister Tony Burke are seeking advice on whether to allow the Abel Tasman super trawler to act as a factory ship. Seafish Tasmania aims to skirt the fishing…
Fisheries around the world are depleted, but they can be saved. Fisheries around the world are depleted, but they can be saved. Isaac Pearlman

It is still possible to make fisheries sustainable

Many fisheries around the world are in bad shape and getting worse. Solving this problem will require innovative monitoring and management tools, but we can provide tremendous benefits if we act now to…
Tony Burke and Andrew Wilkie are happy with the super trawler wash-up. If fish could read, they’d be happy too. Tony Burke and Andrew Wilkie are happy with the super trawler wash-up. If fish could read, they’d be happy too. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Super trawler triggers better conservation for Australian fishes

The scientific and public debate around the super trawler FV Margiris, now reflagged as the Abel Tasman, has been significant, lively and at times, heated. The debate has been worth it: the outcome - an…
Super trawlers aren’t the only boats that take bycatch: 200 black browed albatross could be caught every year in the Commonwealth’s South East Trawl Fishery. Super trawlers aren’t the only boats that take bycatch: 200 black browed albatross could be caught every year in the Commonwealth’s South East Trawl Fishery. Geoff Edwards

Super trawler not the only fishing problem needing review

Tony Burke and Joe Ludwig have just announced a review of the Fisheries Management Act and the EPBC Act, thanks to public opposition to the super trawler. But the Commonwealth should take a good hard look…
There’s not enough science to support a ten-fold increase in the small pelagics we catch. There’s not enough science to support a ten-fold increase in the small pelagics we catch. AAP Image/Greenpeace Pierre Gleizes

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish: science doesn’t support the super trawler

While fisheries science is more complex than Dr. Seuss’ iconic title implies, he had it right in two fundamental areas. We need to understand the species we are exploiting in our fisheries (red vs. blue…
The shrimp Lebbeus clarehanna is a new species collected at about 400 metres depth - it’s species like this new marine reserves will protect. The shrimp Lebbeus clarehanna is a new species collected at about 400 metres depth - it’s species like this new marine reserves will protect. CSIRO

Marine reserves not about closing fisheries, but about preserving ocean health

Recently, members of the fishing industry staged a protest about Australia’s new network of marine parks. But when Environment Minister Tony Burke announced the parks on July 11 2012, he noted the reserves…
It’s not the fish we should worry about, but the other creatures the “super trawler” will catch. It’s not the fish we should worry about, but the other creatures the “super trawler” will catch. Charles Van den Broek

Bycatch the real concern as super trawler heads for Australia

Concerns about licensing a foreign super trawler to fish our southern seas have centred on the negative effect on fish stocks. These fears are largely unfounded. The real concern is for Australian mammals…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (3)