Curious news item

tonmo

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From Charleston.net:

Expert dives into mysteries of coral

The curious excerpt is as follows:

"...Many of its creatures were unknown to science until now: large red squid, single-celled animals the size of golf balls, orange-colored coral that stands 10 feet tall, sponges that look like grapefruit and coral resembling purple parasols."

Anyone know anything more about this Cape Cod Ocean Explorer expedition?
 

Steve O'Shea

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Sure sounds exciting!! I like the reference to New Zealand trawling the seamounts, damaging the environment (paraphrasing what they have said). Very interesting that a US article should refer to such damage occurring as far away as NZ!

We've aged colonies of 'bubblegum coral' (Paragorgia spp - we have 4 species in NZ waters, all having been referred to P. aborea), with the larger colonies (~ 3 metres height) having been aged at ~ 500 years (minimum age). That's 5 centuries worth of irreparable damage caused by a single trawl!

Stay away from orange roughy (as in do not eat it)!!
 

tonmo

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Steve O'Shea said:
We've aged colonies of 'bubblegum coral' (Paragorgia spp - we have 4 species in NZ waters, all having been referred to P. aborea), with the larger colonies (~ 3 metres height) having been aged at ~ 500 years (minimum age). That's 5 centuries worth of irreparable damage caused by a single trawl!
Staggering.
 

Jean

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Stay away from orange roughy (as in do not eat it)!!
Orange roughy's nasty stuff anyway!! :yuck: Very bland & has a toxin just under the skin (I forget what!) so's you can't eat it more than 3 times a week (not that you'd want to!) .

+ the fish is very long lived with low fecundity (lives > than 100years) so we probably shouldn't catch it even if it didn't damage the way cooler (+older) inverts.

J
 

Sedusa

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What is sad to me on a personal level (besides the deep sea fish fiasco, which is also unsettling) is that given the relative merits of marine life as food sources, squid tend to pop right up there. The sustainability of such short lived creatures seems way, way more likely than deep sea fish which take decades to mature. This is of course tinted by my proximity to the squid fisheries of Loligo opalescens off the coast of California, where I live; I.E., the supposed unthreatened nature of the populations and the striking footage that one always sees of the millions of market squid spawning en masse. It seems to me, with the massive food crisis in many places around the world and the obvious damage that we as a species are doing to these populations of deep sea fishes, that pelagic squid are perhaps the best alternative for food for human beings from the sea. Now, personally I love cephalopods (obviously), and would like nothing more than for them to remain unmolested, and this strikes me as a bit of a dillemma. After reading The Empty Ocean, Richard Ellis' most recent book (as far as I know), I'm thinking even more about these matters. I had previously held the impression that aquaculture was entirely a boon - now I'm not so sure. I'd be most interested to hear what others thought about this topic - whether the harvest of pelagic squid is in fact as sustainable a resource as it seems, and what people's personal feelings on the matter are as well. I wonder if my outlook is perhaps tainted by being in a country where squid is not a preferred food? In Japan for example, where squid is massively harvested, does it still seem to be a renewable resource? We obviously need to move away from the harvesting of these long lived deepwater fish species, both for the sake of the fish populations themselves and the associated underwater environmental damage; however, short of nihilism, people must be fed and some alternative must be found.

Anyone? I'd love to hear people's thoughts.

Saul
 

cthulhu77

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I don't understand why you don't think that aquaculture is a boon...are you refering to ac in the ocean, or landlocked? A lot of people buy ac'd fish here, even though it is more expensive, because it is actually fresh and consistent in quality...
We actually have two shrimp ac's here, and a plethora of tilapia ac's...
I do agree with all of you wholeheartedly about the trawling fiasco, very sad and short-sighted...on the positive side, Mexico has begun enforcing its shrimping bans to protect the sea-life with a vengeance, and it already shows! (they actually sunk a shrimping boat last year)
Greg
 

Melissa

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Saul, Greg,

You both write things that make me ask more questions.

Saul, have a look at the Monterey Aquarium site's ratings of fish that is all right to eat for those concerned with the health of the ocean, and what they don't recommend. It was mentioned in another thread. Farmed tilapia, as mentioned by Greg, is a favorite for all the reasons mentioned by Jean and Greg, too - it tastes good and it seems that the aquaculture is done well, but I haven't been able to find details.

Greg, please say more about the sinking of a shrimp boat by the Mexican government. :shock:

Melissa
 

nanoteuthis

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There is at least one farmed fish, IMHO, that is worth it for taste alone -- i.e., catfish. It has a mild, "un-fishy" flavor and makes a great Cajun-style entrée with the simplest preparation: Wash catfish filets, pat dry with paper towels, and moisten lightly again, then dredge in a mixture of yellow cornmeal and chili powder (add salt if desired), pop in the oven till done, and you've got the main attraction of a great ethnic meal.

(If you've got an outdoor grill you can do the more elaborate "blackened fish" thing -- I don't have the recipe, but if you do a netsearch for that phrase or for Chef Paul Prudhomme, I gar-ahn-tee you will find it online.)

Besides, farmed fish is a lot less likely to carry parasites than the free-range kind -- as I once learned the hard way when a non-English-speaking fish store guy misheard my request for "catfish" as "codfish" (can you say anisakis worms?) :yuck:

À bientôt,
Mme Danaë
 

WhiteKiboko

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Melissa said:
Farmed tilapia, as mentioned by Greg, is a favorite for all the reasons mentioned by Jean and Greg, too - it tastes good
i eat a fair amount of tilapia, but dont think it has any particular taste to it...
 

rrtanton

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Greg: I think Saul is referring to some concerns that are being voiced lately about aquaculture. I'm not sure about inland aquaculture though I suppose there are some concerns there as well. Open-water aquaculture, though, is the question. Escapees may be a problem if they're not native species to the area. Leftover food, plus wastes, tend to leave a very unnatural nutrient input into the surrounding environment. The dense surroundings can lead to parasites and disease, so they're sometimes medicated--again, the medications diffuse into the environment.

I don't know how serious any of these issues are, and I'm sure they're meant to be compared to standard commercial fishing, but I think these are at least some of the questions being asked.

rusty
 

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