Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic species, such as fish and shellfish, in salt, brackish, or freshwater. Farming implies private ownership and enhancement of production by stocking, feeding, providing protection from predators and other management measures. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization's latest figures, about one-half of the seafood consumed worldwide is farm-raised.
The scientific name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid is sold for home use to prevent browning of vegetables and fruits. It's used in commercial preparations as an antioxidant.
The diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole); a high level of bio-diversity is desirable.
This is the total weight of a number of organisms or population of a species. It is possible for a fish population to have a high biomass and be overfished.
This is the fish and other marine life that are incidentally caught with the targeted species in a fishery. Bycatch is typically discarded dead at sea, and includes seabirds, marine mammals, turtles, juveniles of the targeted species, and even fish sought after in other fisheries. It is estimated that one-quarter of the global fishery catch is discarded each year as bycatch.
A food additive derived from plants and used as a thickener and/or to add texture in many processed foods. It occurs naturally in plants and is not absorbed during digestion.
Fishing boats that leave in the a.m. and return to port the same day.
A large gillnet ranging in length up to 40 miles, a driftnet is suspended vertically with floats and allowed to drift freely in the open ocean. The United Nations has banned the use of driftnets in international waters because of their non-selective catch characteristics. Driftnets in U.S. waters are limited to 1.5 miles in length. See gillnet below.
Seafood that is frozen on board the fishing vessel using state of the art blast freezers within minutes of being harvested.
A fishery can be defined in many ways though, in general terms, it is the take or removal of a species from the aquatic environment using some type of fishing technology. The emphasis is on the human aspects of fishing and all the activities it involves.
A gillnet's mesh size allows the heads of fish to pass through the openings but the gills get caught. Many states, such as Texas, Louisiana, Florida and California, have banned the use of gillnets in their coastal waters. Like driftnets, gillnets are associated with some bycatch as they are non-selective. In some cases, though, regulations establish where nets can be placed in the water or what time of day they can be set to help reduce the chances of catching non-targeted species. Alaskan Salmon gillnets are an exception because they are very selective and have little or no bycatch.
A gummy substance obtained from legume-family plants, used as a thickener and stabilizer in commercial food processing.
Analogous to the rod and reel used by recreational anglers, this is a method that attracts fish by a natural or artificial bait (lures) placed on a hook fixed to the end of a line or rod, on which they get caught. Hook-and-line units may be used singly or in large numbers.
A fatty substance obtained from egg yolks and legumes, used to preserve, emulsify and moisturize food.
A longline consists of many short lines, each baited with a hook, suspended vertically from a main line that is dragged horizontally through the water. Longlines can carry thousands of hooks and stretch as long as 40 miles. This method is generally associated with moderate to high bycatch, depending on how many hooks and where and when the lines are set. Longlines set for tunas, for instance, also catch swordfish, sharks, turtles, and seabirds (the latter are attracted to the baited hooks as they are put in the water). Longlining can also be perilous to fishers as they haul in/ put out the line.
The maximum amount of a species that can be taken without diminishing the future take.
Although mercury is a naturally occurring element, it is also released into the environment by various human activities including waste incineration, coal burning, and mining. Mercury is an ongoing public health concern due to its highly toxic nature; exposure to high levels can permanently damage the brain and kidneys and the developing fetus. Children are more susceptible than adults to mercury contamination. Fish consumption is one of the most important exposure routes to humans. Mercury bioaccumulates, meaning that top predators, such as sharks and swordfish, have higher levels in their tissues than, for example, fish that feed on plankton. For further information on human health protection, see Seafood Health.
This occurs when there is more fishing capacity (i.e., more boats, gear, or investment in equipment) than is needed to catch the available fish in an economically efficient and sustainable manner. Overcapitalization poses a threat to fish populations because it can easily lead to overfishing. (Roberts et al. and NRDC)
Overfishing exists when the rate of fishing is greater than the level required to meet the management goal or maximum sustainable yield. In other words, overfishing occurs when a population of fish is caught faster than it can replenish itself through reproduction. (Roberts et al.)
PCBs are mixtures of over 200 different chemicals (cogeners) that come in various forms including oily liquids, solids and hard resins. PCBs are organochlorines that were manufactured until the mid-1980s, after which they were banned due to their toxicity and persistence. PCBs have been widely used as insulators in electrical equipment. They have also been used in the production of hydraulic fluids, lubricants, inks, adhesives and insecticides. They are still found in old electrical equipment and releases into the environment continue from landfills. PCBs are very persistent in the environment, taking years to degrade. They are fat-soluble and bioaccumulate in the tissues of animals. PCBs have become worldwide pollutants due to long-distance transport on air currents. Exposure to PCBs can permanently damage the nervous, reproductive and immune systems of the human body. PCBs are known carcinogens and have been linked with the development of various forms of cancer including skin and liver. In mammals, PCBs are passed via the placenta to developing young in the womb and via breast milk to newborn babies.
The word "pelagic" is an ancient Greek word for the open ocean or high seas, the area comprising most of the earth's surface. The word is still used to describe this vast region as well as to describe the creatures that inhabit it (i.e., a pelagic species).
A group of interbreeding organisms that represents the level of organization at which speciation begins. In other words, a population is a group within a species that shares common ecological and genetic features compared to other individuals of that species. (FAO Fisheries Department)
This is a type of trap designed to catch fish or crustaceans, in the form of cages or baskets. Pots are made of various materials, such as wood, wicker, metal rods, or wire netting, and have one or more openings or entrances. They are usually laid on the bottom, with or without bait, singly or in rows, and are connected by ropes (buoy-lines) to buoys on the surface showing their position.
A proactive method of dealing with the environment that places the burden of proof on those whose activities could harm the environment rather than on the public. It is the opposite of the wait-and-see principle; acting before scientific proof of deleterious effects is applying a precautionary approach. (Norse)
A net that is usually set by two boats and is used to catch open-sea or pelagic fish. The boats encircle a school of fish and then the bottom of the net is drawn together like a purse. As with any net, the size of the mesh determines which species is targeted. The "dolphin-safe" logo resulted from public awareness about the bycatch of dolphins associated with purse seines used in the Pacific tuna fishery.
A peppery Japanese condiment made of seven different seasonings including red chili flakes, sansho, white sesame seeds, seaweed flakes, bits of dried mandrin orange peel, black hemp seeds and white poppy seeds. It's also called seven spice seasoning.
The technical definition of a stock is an interbreeding sub-population of a species, reproductively isolated to some extent from other populations. Used as a unit for fishery management, however, "stock" refers to a specific population or group of populations of one or more species.
A method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.
Fishing by means of devices such as cages that trap fish in a confined environment. Traps are often designed and baited to catch a particular species, as in a crab pot, lobster pot, tuna trap, and fyke net. There is little to no bycatch associated with traps.
This is a type of hook-and-line method described above in which several unconnected lines, each hooked and baited, are slowly dragged behind the vessel.
Produced from the fermentation of corn sugar, xanthan gum is used as a thickener, emulsifier and stabilizer in foods such as dairy products and salad dressings.
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