News Digest n.9 / 2023

Study seeks to improve seafood intake in the first 1,000 days of life

Seafood products can contain elevated concentrations of micronutrients in comparison to other protein sources. Bivalve shellfish are particularly high in micronutrients, containing up to 23 times the amount of vitamin A than beef, pork or chicken. Highlighting the potential for seafood to be a quality, sustainable source of nutrition could be important in improving its consumption.

EU and Kiribati agree on a new fisheries protocol to their sustainable fisheries partnership agreement

On 2 October 2023, the European Union and the Republic of Kiribati signed a new fisheries protocol to the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement for a duration of five years. The Kiribati protocol will grant the European Union fleet operating in the Pacific Ocean access to the richest and healthiest tuna stocks worldwide, an area which provides for more than half of the global tuna catch. For the first time in a fisheries protocol between the European Union and Kiribati, it was agreed to have an effort management regime (fishing days) instead of a regime based on catch management (reference tonnage), which is better aligned with Kiribati’s domestic legislation and in line with the way the WCPFC manages its purse seine tropical tuna fisheries.

Thousands of salmon escaped an Icelandic fish farm. The impact could be deadly

A huge escape of farmed fish in August could devastate local salmon populations. Suspected escapees have now been found in at least 32 rivers across north-west Iceland, according to unconfirmed social media posts. There are three reasons, scientists say, this escape is so disastrous: the fish are entering many rivers over a large area; there are in greater numbers than ever seen before; and a high percentage are mature, ready to breed.

From plastic waste to stadium seats

In the heart of Seville, Spain, football fans can enjoy the comfort of their new stadium seats thanks to the joint efforts of the Gravity Wave project and the famous Real Betis football club. The seats were made from plastic waste from the Mediterranean. Every year, between 8 and 12 million tons of plastic waste becomes part of the ocean. Almost half of this waste belongs to fishing gear, specifically fishing nets that can take a long time to degrade and become death traps for all kinds of marine species.

Salmon fishing in Scotland threatened by rising sea temperatures

Since March 2023, Scotland's waters have been gripped by an unprecedented Category 4 marine heatwave, causing mass marine mortalities. For some of Scotland’s salmon farms the staggering five degree temperature increase has led to a proliferation of sea lice infestations. The salmon industry says it prioritises the well-being of the fish, and stresses the technology and innovation it uses against the sea lice.

A win for the ocean: High Seas Treaty signed at United Nationss

The High Seas Treaty, also known as the agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or 'BBNJ', was signed in New York on 20 September, in the margins of the United Nations High Level Week. The agreement provides for the common governance of about half of the Earth’s surface and 95% of the ocean’s volume, the largest habitat on our blue planet. The adoption of this agreement is a historic achievement marking the successful end of more than a decade of multilateral work. It complements the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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