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Marine Research News - 2010

Marine Research News no. 1: How to turn a burning problem into a resource

The teeming jellyfish in some Norwegian fjords put many people off taking a refreshing summer dip. In Asia, meanwhile, far larger jellyfish invasions have caused serious environmental problems. However, jellyfish can also provide raw ingredients for health foods, the pharmaceutical industry and fish feed. The Institute of Marine Research is currently looking more closely at these opportunities.

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Marine Research News no. 2: New trawl gear with reduced bottom contact

The new trawl gear consists of rubber plates separated by rolling steel bobbins. In comparison to the trawl gears that are most widely used today, the new gear may reduce contact with the bottom by over 50 percent, thus dramatically reducing the impact of bottom trawling.

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Marine Research News no. 3: Raising cod pots off the sea bottom

For coastal fishing, fish pots have often been viewed as a potential alternative to gillnets and longlines. In order to keep the pots out of the reach of king crabs, a new pot has been developed which is raised slightly above the sea bottom.

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Marine Research News no.4: Treatment may help kelp to recover

After successful experiments to remove sea urchins with quicklime, the kelp forest is returning to the test areas in Porsangerfjorden in Finnmark. Juvenile fish appear to be thriving amongst the new kelp plants, which makes us optimistic that both the kelp forests and fish populations in the fjord can recover.

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Marine Research News no.5: Pelagic trawling for cod

Pelagic trawling does no harm to benthic fauna and reduces bycatches, and is sometimes an alternative to bottom trawling when fishing for cod. Selection abilities are the same as for bottom trawling. A newly developed concept (also applicable to bottom trawls), which has a four-panel extension and cod-end, stabilises the trawl geometry and improves selectivity.

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Marine Research News no.6: Crowding in purse seine can kill half the catch of North Sea herring

Catch regulation in purse seining for herring has traditionally been done by discarding all or part of the catch if it is too big, or if the size or quality of the herring does not match requirements. Net burst is also quite common during certain seasons. Our experiments showed that if tightly crowded, herring will, just like mackerel, experience unacceptably high mortality rates. However, whereas mackerel experienced massive mortality shortly after being crowded,it took longer for the herring to die.

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Marine Research News no.7: Recording the catches of fishing tourists

Figures from the Institute of Marine Research show that fishing tourists using the organised tourism industry catch an estimated 3,300 tonnes each year. The estimate is based on advanced statistical methods, practical field work and self-reporting by fishing tourists at a number of fishing tourism companies.

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Marine Research News no. 8: Report fish findings to The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre

Scientists study the current status of the most important fish populations in Norwegian waters annually. Population estimates are based on the results of our own field studies, research and fisheries. Observations by the general public also make an important contribution of the scientists’ knowledge base, particularly for fish in coastal waters.

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Marine Research News no.9: Seismic activity can both increase and reduce catches

Fish can hear the noise from seismic activities at great distances. Their reactions depend on the species of fish and the type of seismic survey. The impact on catches also depends on the fishing gear being used. As a result, seismic activities can both increase and reduce catches.

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Marine Research News no.10: Seing the sea with sound

Whales have developed an advanced biological sonar system that they can use to communicate between continents. They also use their sonar when hunting prey, and once a delicacy has been located, they can catch them in the pitch dark using their good “hearing”. The new Centre for Marine Ecosystem Acoustics, MEA, aims to be able to use acoustics just as successfully as whales.

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Marine Research News no.11: A CRISP approach to sustainable fish capture

Centre for Research-based Innovation in Sustainable fish capture and Preprocessing technology (CRISP) is an initiative to develop smarter technologies to meet future challenges for a sustainable and economical viable fishing industry. CRISP is a partnership between research institutions and the industry with a pending application to the Research Council of Norway to become a Center for Research-based Innovation.

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