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#RadioChatter #05-07-2012 Comfish News Roundup

Sea urchin dish in a restaurant in Tianjin, China
Sea urchin dish in a restaurant in Tianjin, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
China supplants Japan as No. 1 importer of Alaska goods
Alex DeMarban | May 06, 2012
Last year, Alaska rode the Chinese dragon to an export boom.
Shipments from the 49th State to the Middle Kingdom surged dramatically, making China the state's top trading partner for the first time. Fueling the growth is a rising middle class that loves Alaska fish and a promising deal with the China’s largest gold producer, a state official said. The world's most-crowded country spent $1.4 billion on Alaska fish, logs and minerals last year, or about $1 for each of its 1.3 billion residents. Exports expanded by $518 million from 2010, a remarkable 56 percent rise. In the process, China blew past Japan, which had long held title as Alaska's top trading partner. Japan imported $1.1 billion in Alaska.....

Diets lower in fishmeal stunt growth of farmed fish: study
Monday, May 07, 2012, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
When it comes to the food used to raise fish in aquaculture "farms," it seems that one may get what we pay for. In a new study, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) looked at the health effects of raising farmed fish on a diet incorporating less than the usual amount of fishmeal—a key but expensive component of current commercial fish food products. They learned that reduced fishmeal diets may be cheaper, but the fish were less healthy. Commercial aquaculture is one of the fastest growing areas of food production, produces about USD 100 billion of revenue annually and accounts for.....

Researchers reach new revelations on marine food chain
Monday, May 07, 2012, 22:30 (GMT + 9)
A new study has found that each step of the marine food chain is clearly controlled by the trophic level below it – and the driving factor influencing that relationship is not the abundance of prey, but how that prey is distributed. The importance of the spatial pattern of resources – sometimes called "patchiness" – is gaining new appreciation from ecologists, who are finding the overall abundance of food less important than its density and ease of access to it. Results of the study are being published this week in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Kelly Benoit-Bird, an Oregon State University oceanographer and lead author on the study, said patchiness is not a new concept, but one that has gained acceptance as...

Human fishing shown to have little effect on orcas
By Christopher Dunagan
Posted May 6, 2012 at 6:20 p.m.
SEATTLE — Fishermen who catch chinook salmon in the Salish Sea probably are not depriving killer whales of a meal — at least not to the extent that some people believed. That's the preliminary conclusion of an independent panel of seven U.S. and Canadian scientists. The group was convened to figure out whether the endangered Southern Resident orca population would do better if salmon fishing were reduced or eliminated. It is well established that the Southern Residents, which frequent Puget Sound, eat primarily wild chinook. It also appears to be true that more orca deaths have occurred during multiyear periods when chinook runs are smaller. But panel members caution that low runs of chinook may not actually cause the declines...

Facebook/Shell: 5 hours ago
The world’s largest facility for testing and improving CO2 capture opens in Norway today
Knowledge gained will prepare the ground for CO2 capture initiatives to combat climate change. To learn more about CCS take a look at this animation....

Report warns of rapid decline in US Earth observation capabilities
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 04, 2012
A new National Research Council report says that budget shortfalls, cost-estimate growth, launch failures, and changes in mission design and scope have left U.S. earth observation systems in a more precarious position than they were five years ago. The report cautions that the nation's earth observing system is beginning a rapid decline in capability, as long-running missions end and key new missions are delayed, lost, or cancelled....