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The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
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Harpooning dorado in the doldrums ca 1870.

How we are emptying our seas.

Human exploitation of the seas has changed them forever.

By the 18th century, for example, the Atlantic grey whale had been driven to extinction.

Nowadays, despite being protected, the northern right whale is down to the last few hundred animals and faces the same fate. 

Photo: york.ac.uk/
Harpooning dorado in the doldrums ca 1870
Photo: york.ac.uk
Moby Dick, or the Whale — by Herman Melville
audio free download click here

MEPs set to back new EU fish deal
February 5, 2013
MEPs are to vote on what is expected to be the biggest shake-up in the history of the EU's fisheries policy, which could massively boost fish stocks and fishermen's incomes and create a third more jobs in the sector.
If the rewriting of the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) gets the go-ahead it will force change on ministers accused of years of failure to get to grips with excess fishing and dwindling supplies.
Fishing Trawler.

Europe MEP's seek an end to the practice of discards - throwing dead fish back into the sea - because of strict CFP rules on the size of landed catches.

Photo: MSN UK
Practice of 'discards'
EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki told a European Parliament debate in Strasbourg:
"We have to change the policy to stop over-fishing.   We have a chance to create a decent living (for fishermen)."
The plans on the table include an end to the ridiculed practice of 'discards' — throwing dead fish back into the sea — because of strict CFP rules on the size of landed catches.
Increase the fish in our seas
The MEPs' vote will trigger three-way final negotiations between the Commission, MEPs and EU fisheries ministers before a final agreement is forged.
But the fact that the European Parliament now has 'co-decision; powers over fishing policy means more clout for those demanding major changes.
Ms Damanaki, who once described the CFP as 'broken', added:
"If we go through with this deal, by 2020 we are going to increase the fish in our seas by 15 million tonnes and the fish landed by our fishermen by half a million tonnes.
We will also increase incomes by 2022 by 25% and create 30% more jobs.
We can't justify discarding any more.
We can't explain to anybody that we have to throw away 23% — this is the average — of the fish we catch."
Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies said:
"This historic vote will be a chance to do something good for fish and fishermen, but also something good for Europe because without doubt the CFP has not been an ornament to this union.
It has been criticised enormously."
But UK Independence Party MEP Marta Andreasen, whose report on scrapping the CFP altogether was rejected last year, said that the policy was doomed and still needed to be scrapped:
"Year after year we debate this failed policy.
Meanwhile, over 100,000 jobs in the fishing industry have been lost as a direct consequence of this failure."
Fisheries minister Richard Benyon said the CFP clearly needed far-reaching reform.   He said:
"This vote presents a vital opportunity for MEPs to lay out their vision for reform and I hope that they will back the ambitious and far reaching changes we need."
© 2013 Microsoft
 
 
From The Sunday Times May 10, 2009
How we are emptying our seas
Human exploitation of the seas has changed them forever, writes Callum Roberts, professor of marine conservation at York University
Mother whale and calf being dragged on board Japanese ship after being harpooned
Imagine sitting on the cliffs of Dover contemplating the sea on a crisp spring day.
Today your eye would be drawn by the crawling shapes of cargo vessels, ferries and fishing boats.
Wind back the clock to the seventh century, however, and the scene would be very different.
Instead of shipping, you would watch the passage of great whales on their northward migration from African wintering grounds to Arctic feeding areas.
At the season's peak, over a thousand whales might pass in a day.
Today few whales are sighted in the English Channel, because we have decimated their numbers by hunting.
The slaughter began in the Bay of Biscay and English Channel around the ninth century and, by the early Middle Ages these abundant animals sustained a vigorous whale fishery that was conducted from coastal bays and inlets along their migration routes.
Records suggest that numbers were declining as long ago as the 12th and 14th centuries.
The depletion of those stocks offers a good explanation for why Basques whalers were so quick to exploit newly-discovered Arctic and Canadian whale populations in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Over the following centuries – in Scotland right up until after the second world war – whales were pursued relentlessly.
Those left are a small fraction of former numbers.
Right whale births were 39 calves born in the spring of 2009
Despite being protected, the northern right whale is down to the last few hundred animals
By the 18th century, for example, the Atlantic grey whale had been driven to extinction.
Nowadays, despite being protected, the northern right whale is down to the last few hundred animals and faces the same fate.
How do we know how big whale populations once were?
Whaling records, historians and others all describe the abundance of these beautiful creatures.
One 16th century writer reported how whales were “ever present, familiar guests” around the coasts of Scandinavia.
Nowadays we also have DNA studies, showing a level of genetic diversity that could only have been achieved by huge numbers of animals.
How different the seas must have been then, in both spectacle and ecology, but it is not just whales that have dwindled over the centuries.
Our propensity to pursue marine wildlife extended beyond whales to porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks, angel sharks, tunny, skate and halibut and a host of other ocean megafauna.
Bone remains from medieval times tell of a Humber Estuary population of bottlenose dolphins that disappeared for good over a hundred years ago.
In the 18th century, porpoises were described as so common they sometimes darkened the sea as they rose to draw breath.
Bluefin tuna
Scarborough
UK 1933
Large predators were sustained by populations of prey fish, pilchards, herring, sprat and others, far greater in abundance than those present today.
In the United States, an unexpected consequence of the depletion of large sharks, like tigers and hammerheads, has recently been uncovered.
When the big sharks disappeared one of their former prey items, cownose rays, flourished, in turn munching their way through any bay scallops they could find.
Few would have predicted that shark fishing could cause the collapse of a lucrative scallop fishery.
Grey whales are submarine bulldozers, feeding on clams and other animals buried in the seabed.
In the Pacific, historic populations of grey whales numbering near 100,000 animals once raised as much sediment in the Arctic as is dumped today by the equivalent of 12 Yukon Rivers.
Steve Palumbi of Stanford University estimates that nutrients in this sediment would have fuelled plankton blooms that would feed a million seabirds.
There are no Grey Whales left in the Atlantic, but their role as ecological engineers has been replaced by prawn trawls that raise millions of tons of sediment as they sweep back and forth in chilly northern seas.
Fish Hol Chan
Marine Reserve, Belize, 1991
It is difficult to know in how many other ways the ecology of our seas has been restructured as a result of hunting and fishing.
Historical ecologists will argue over this subject for years to come.
For the rest of us, the loss of the seas’ spectacular megafauna is a matter for sadness and regret.
Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation
Environment Department, University of York
York, YO10 5DD.
See website for more information on historical losses of marine megafauna
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/unnatural-history-of-the-sea
The Wildlife Trusts marine megafauna campaign
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/?section=marinebill:seasofplenty
Killer whales face cull after finding taste for rare otters
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6256515.ece
© Copyright 2009 Times Newspapers Ltd
First Nation fishing in Gulf of California, 1726

How we are emptying our seas.

Human exploitation of the seas has changed them forever.

By the 18th century, for example, the Atlantic grey whale had been driven to extinction.

Nowadays, despite being protected, the northern right whale is down to the last few hundred animals and faces the same fate. 

Photo: york.ac.uk/
First Nation fishing in Gulf of California, 1726
Photo: york.ac.uk
 
 
Published on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 by the Guardian / UK
Tuna Stocks Close to Exhaustion, Says WWF
by Justin McCurry
Japan's huge appetite for tuna will take the most sought-after stocks to the brink of commercial extinction unless more rigid quotas are agreed, wildlife campaigners warned yesterday.
WWF said that although Japan was the main culprit, burgeoning demand for tuna from other countries, such as China, had increased the threat to stocks.
"Tuna are fast disappearing, with important stocks at high risk of commercial extinction due to weak management," the group, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement.
"Atlantic bluefin [tuna], used for high-end sushi and sashimi, is massively overfished and the spawning stock of southern bluefin in the Indian Ocean is down about 90%."
The warning came at the start of a five-day meeting in Kobe, Japan, of the world's five biggest tuna fisheries management organisations, which cover 77 countries and regions.
"We are deeply concerned about the future of global tuna stock.
"We must strengthen our cooperation to tackle the issue," said Toshiro Shirasu, director general of the Fisheries Agency in Japan.
About 2m tonnes of tuna were caught worldwide in 2004 and 530,000 tonnes went to Japanese markets in 2005, according to the Fisheries Agency.
Japan, which consumes more than half of the world's catch of at-risk Atlantic bluefin tuna, admits overfishing, but blames poor communication between its fishermen and denies it has fished illegally.
Last October it agreed to halve its catch of southern bluefin to 3,000 tonnes a year over the next five years.
A month later, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna agreed to cut this year's bluefin tuna quota in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean from 32,000 to 29,500 tonnes, raising fears in Japan of a steep price rise.
New quotas will not be decided this week, but campaigners hope members of the five regional bodies responsible for managing tuna stocks will agree to share data.
"For the first time, there's general agreement by the governments that something significant has to be done," Alistair Graham of WWF told Reuters.
Proposals include requiring fishermen to produce certificates of origin for their tuna catches and for fish to be monitored between capture and market.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
Common Dreams © 1997-2006
April 11, 2006
The Disappearence of Big Fish
Endangered Species in a Can?
By ROBERT OVETZ
It's common knowledge that we are running out of oil.   What's not so well known is that we are also running out of big fish.
The harsh realization that catches of big fish-marlin, sharks, swordfish and tuna-are declining rapidly is beginning to sink in.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization considers about 75 percent of all fish fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted.
The crisis can be seen most extremely across the Pacific, the world's largest source of tuna, where catches are shrinking along with the average size of the fish.
Today a 70 pound swordfish — which is too young to have even reproduced — is considered "a good sized fish" and can be legally landed in the US.
Just a few short decades ago the same fish averaged 300-400 pounds and could be caught close to shore with a harpoon.
In the past two years, the Pacific has seen quotas, restrictions on catches, freezes on effort and even moratoriums.  
The US longline fleet had to shut down for the second half of 2005 in the Eastern Pacific.
Japan and China were not far behind.
Just last December, the new international body with the unwieldy name Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission imposed a freeze on further efforts to catch bigeye and albacore.
Throughout the Pacific, it is widely documented that these two species have recently joined the lucrative southern bluefin tuna on the overfished list.
In fact, southern bluefin already has a step up on its cousins and is considered an endangered species by the World Conservation Union.
Shameful shark finning has also caused numerous shark species to plummet as well and a few sharks such as the great white to be considered vulnerable to extinction.
All told, recent scientific reports document that the biomass of these large fish have declined by about 90 percent in the Pacific since 1950 — about the time that new technologies allowed us to fish further from shore for longer and catch more fish.
Since then, technology has eviscerated those last areas of the ocean safe from us only because we were unable to reach them and stay there.
The recent announcement last month by the US government that yellowfin tuna is also being overfished in Pacific will undoubtedly send a shockwave throughout the US and the Pacific.
We are now faced with incontrovertible evidence that the lions and tigers of the sea — the ones we feed our children for lunch — are disappearing fast.
Imagine the day when cans of tuna, a staple food source for millions of Americans, can no longer be found.   According to the warning signs that day may already be here.
That's bad news for the dozens of impoverished Pacific island nations that have leased their national waters for pennies on the dollar to foreign industrial longline vessels to catch and export their fish primarily to the US, Japan and the EU.
For some of these nations, these meager licensing fees contribute as much as 70 percent of their GDP.
When greed and waste finally leads to collapse of these fish, millions of people throughout the Pacific will sink even further into poverty.
Canneries are already cutting their hours or even shutting down for want of fish.   Stories of crews mutinying or being abandoned in foreign countries by captains who couldn't pay them abound.
The days of three cans of tuna for a $1, a vivid memory from my childhood, are long gone.
The way out of this crisis is to catch less and pay more while staying out of critical areas of the ocean.
It only seems fair that the countries with the resources should receive a far larger share of their $2 billion a year resource and still have some of the big fish around to attract far more lucrative game fishing tourism.
The US has taken the right step by restricting longline fishing for tuna in the Eastern Pacific and banning it on the West Coast.
Now it's time to put the pressure on other countries to do the same.
Otherwise we may start having to add these fish to the endangered species list.
Robert Ovetz, PhD is the Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator with the US-based
Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
"Things I've seen and that I've lived"

      NEWS STORY
Ninety per cent of large fish in world's oceans are gone, study says
DENNIS BUECKERT
Canadian Press
Wednesday, May 14, 2003

OTTAWA — The collapse of Atlantic cod stocks, far from being an unusual disaster, is typical of what's happening to large fish around the world, a major study has found.
Industrial fishing has cut populations of large fish in the oceans to a mere 10 per cent of 1950 levels, says the study, published Wednesday in Nature magazine.
The devastating decline affects open ocean species such as tuna, swordfish and marlin, and groundfish such as cod, halibut and flounder.
"Our analysis suggests that the global ocean has lost more than 90 per cent of large predatory fishes," study authors Ransom Myers and Boris Worm of Dalhousie University say.
Myers says the world is in "massive denial", spending its energy fighting over the few fish left instead of cutting harvests before it's too late.
"We have to understand how close to extinction some of these populations really are," he said in an interview.
"And we must act now before they reach the point of no return."
"We are in massive denial and continue to bicker over the last shrinking numbers of survivors, employing satellites and sensors to catch the last fish left," Myers said.
The researchers spent 10 years collecting data on large fish in four continental shelf and nine oceanic systems from the beginning of record-keeping to the present.
They concluded that industrial fishing, using sensors and satellites, takes only 15 years to reduce a new fish community to a tenth of its original size.
"The amazing thing is, all these data sources show almost identically the same pattern," Myers said in an interview.
Most managers have no idea how much depletion has occurred because they don't realize how abundant the resource once was, Worm said.
"The impact we have had on ocean ecosystems has been greatly underestimated."
Large fish are not only declining in numbers, they no longer attain the size they once did, the scientists say. The few blue marlin caught today weigh one-fifth of what they once did.
The depletion has occurred even in open ocean where untapped reservoirs of fish were presumed to exist. Japanese longline fishing, using lines with thousands of hooks, is a major factor.
Many fish are under such intense harvesting pressure they never get a chance to reproduce, the researchers say.
Myers dismisses the arguments of Newfoundland Premier Roger Grimes who has bitterly protested the federal closure of the Newfoundland cod fishery.
"This is absurd. They have these pictures and say, 'Look at all these fish that are there.' They're baby fish! They can't catch the quota that they have. I view it as sheer idiocy."
He maintains that harvesting must be cut by at least 50 per cent, pointing to Alaska as a jurisdiction where sustainable fishing is practised successfully.
"We can, as a society or societies, decide to fish the sea in a rational fashion and obtain more benefit certainly than we are obtaining at the moment.
"It's not the technology, it's the lack of control over the technology. They have factory ships in Alaska and yet they have a sustainable fishery."
© Copyright 2003 The Canadian Press
NORTH SEA RESERVE NETWORK
Computer model has selected best locations for reserves
Maps show two of the top 10 most favourable configurations
Benefits for entire ecosystem not just depleted stocks
Tuesday, 7 December, 2004
Fish areas 'need drastic action'
The marine environment requires drastic and urgent action to save it from further destruction by fishing fleets, says an influential report.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution says the changes needed will be "painful" in the short term.
Continuing with only piecemeal adjustments will leave the fishing industry with little future, it argues.
The commission wants to see 30% of UK waters become marine reserves closed to commercial fishing.
In its report: 'Turning The Tide, Addressing The Impact Of Fisheries On The Marine Environment', the commission (RCEP), which advises the government, says society has given far less priority to marine conservation than to protecting the land — something it says needs to change urgently.
Its report focuses on the impacts of fishing in the north-east Atlantic, the area covered by the Ospar Convention on the protection of the region's marine environment.
Shift in emphasis
It looks especially at the fisheries regulated by the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy and at the waters around the UK.
It says the UK government will need to apply pressure at the European level to realise the report's recommendations.
The report says: "The precautionary approach needs to be applied comprehensively to fisheries management.
"Currently, the marine environment is regulated on the basis of a presumption in favour of fishing... we recommend that the presumption should be reversed."
The commission says protected areas can benefit the entire marine ecosystem, from spawning fish to deep-living organisms and the seabed itself.
A continued regime of too little, too late will ultimately leave many sectors of the industry without a future
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
Several reserves established on Georges Bank, off the north-east coast of North America, have seen species recoveries, with the density of scallops increasing up to 14-fold within five years.
While less than 0.5% of the world's oceans are protected, some countries have gone much further, with New Zealand and South Africa aiming to designate 10-20% of their waters as reserves.
The commission wants the UK to establish a network of marine protected areas within five years, leading to the closure to commercial fishing of 30% of the country's exclusive economic zone.
RCEP chairman Sir Tom Blundell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that without such measures, "many of the fish populations will just collapse".
He said: "We have almost all of the industrially fished populations down to between 15 and 20% throughout the world. This is a catastrophe.
"We believe an absolutely radical change is required."
The report says the running costs of reserves to protect the North and Irish Seas would be £9-15m annually, compared with about £35m a year to run the national parks in England and Wales.
Plankton, SAHFOS

From plankton up, the marine system is in crisis, scientists say
From plankton up, the marine system is in crisis, scientists say
It says a global reserve system covering 30% of the oceans would cost £6.5-7.5bn a year, less than the £8-16bn spent in subsidies to commercial fisheries.
The RCEP wants the UK to adopt "a decommissioning scheme to reduce the capacity of the UK fishing fleet to an environmentally sustainable level, and ensure similar reductions are made in EU fleets that fish in UK waters".
'Safe limits'
It also wants the government to review the funding available to promote economic diversification in areas dependent on fishing.
Fisheries minister Ben Bradshaw told Today that the fight to preserve marine life was the "second biggest environmental challenge the world faces after climate change".
But he said it would be premature to implement the measures recommended by the RCEP.
We need to give more time for the radical measures that we have already taken to have an impact
Fisheries minister Ben Bradshaw
Mr Bradshaw said: "We need to give more time for the radical measures that we have already taken to have an impact.
"There has been some very painful decommissioning already undertaken in Scotland, which has reduced the size of the Scottish white fish fleet.
"We don't rule out the possibility of having to take radical action in the future, but there are signs that cod is beginning to recover and other stocks are doing very well.
"It doesn't seem reasonable to take action that puts fishing communities out of business, and then the stocks recover but you have no fishing industry left to take advantage of that."
UK MARINE LIFE
Over 44,000 species, from plankton to whales
Over 330 species of fish
British waters hold 95% of the EU's grey seal population
25 breeding seabird species with 8 million coastal birds
This includes 90% of the global population of Manx shearwaters
The RCEP says some of the effects of current fishing practices are ruinous: a recently-introduced net with a mouth the size of 50 football pitches, for example, and bottom-trawlers which plough furrows up to 6m wide and 0.15m deep for many km across the seabed.
It cites a report by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas which says the proportion of north-east Atlantic fish stocks within safe biological limits fell from 26% to 16% between 1996 and 2001.
The RCEP's warning is stark: "A continued regime of too little, too late will ultimately leave many sectors of the industry without a future."
BBC NEWS:VIDEO AND AUDIO
Why depleted UK fish stocks need protecting

FISHING IN CRISIS
KEY STORIES

BACKGROUND

WITNESS REPORTS

IN PICTURES

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
Wednesday, 17 December, 2003
Fishermen peer into annual abyss
By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent
Fish on slab.

The fishing industry says fish are plentiful
The industry says fish are plentiful
The annual round of European Union talks to agree permitted fish catches is starting in Brussels.
The commission, the EU's executive arm, is proposing to maintain the deep cuts in cod quotas imposed last year.
Scientists say cod catches should be banned completely in the North Sea, the Irish Sea and off western Scotland, to give the stocks a chance to recover.
But many trawlermen say the fish are plentiful and think the scientists are missing clear evidence of abundance.
The fisheries ministers' meeting is expected to last until 19 December, with sessions continuing overnight as they have in previous years.
Trawlers.

The fishing crews fear being kept in port
The crews fear being kept in port
Last year saw the UK fleet forced to accept a cut of 45% in North Sea cod and fishing days were reduced to 15 days a month.
The UK Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw, said last week the negotiations would take place against "a difficult background of scientific advice".
While prawn, haddock, herring and mackerel stocks were in good shape, he said, there was a serious problem with white fish, and with cod in particular.
But he hoped the council would agree in principle to move from setting catches annually to a longer-term "multi-annual" approach.
Mr Bradshaw said: "We hope very much if we can get agreement in principle on this, it will let the commission feel it can be a bit more generous on some of the TACs (total allowable catches) and catch quotas."
A key aspect this year will not be catch quotas but fishing effort, the throbbing heart of the commission's plan
Dr Ian Duncan, Scottish Fishermen's Federation
Louis Belanger works in the EU office of WWF, the global environment campaign.
He said: "The future of Europe's fish stocks depends on ending unrealistic and politically driven fish quotas, the main cause of the current crisis.
"Short-term political dealing is not the answer to the long-term recovery of fish stocks."
Dr Ian Duncan, of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, believes the fisheries crisis is not anywhere near as severe as the scientists and politicians say it is.
Different information
He told BBC News Online: "The stock situation is much better than last year across the board - and that includes the cod, which are not galloping ahead but are certainly showing signs of improvement.
"They're even doing fairly well in the three areas where the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Ices) wants a total ban on fishing.
Fish in boxes

Some species are certainly improving
Some species are certainly improving
"In the North Sea they are showing improvement, off the west of Scotland they are static, and in the Irish Sea they're improving fast.
"Ices put out what I'd call a well-spun press release several days before their scientists reported. Anyone reading the release would have got the impression things had got worse.
"But the release didn't mention the stocks that were doing well, like prawns and haddock, and the scientists didn't give that impression at all.
Staying in harbour
"The commission is determined to get its cod recovery plan accepted: it's on the table again this week, although it's been rejected twice by the ministers.
"So a key aspect this year will not be catch quotas but fishing effort, the throbbing heart of the commission's plan.
"The quotas are likely to reflect the stock improvement. But the commission wants to cut fishing effort to 10 days a month.
"It's also talking about something called regional advisory councils, which could be an important way of drawing power back from Brussels to the regions, but might just be talking shops."
WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby
"The EU insists the cuts are for the Fishermen's own good"


SEE ALSO:
11 Dec 03 | Science/Nature
10 Dec 03 | Science/Nature
10 Dec 03 | UK

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SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT
Further evidence crabs and other crustaceans feel pain
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC World Service
17 January 2013
Scientists have found further evidence that crustaceans feel pain.
A study has revealed that the shore crab, a close relative of the species we use for food, responds to electric shocks and then goes on to avoid them.
Crustaceans at market.

Scientists have found further evidence that crustaceans feel pain.

The scientists said the food and fishing industry should start to think about the welfare of crustaceans
The scientists said the food and fishing industry should start to think about the welfare of crustaceans
Previous research has shown that prawns and hermit crabs also react to painful situations.
The scientists say the findings suggest the food and aquaculture industry should rethink how it treats these animals.
The work is published in the
Journal of Experimental Biology.
Professor Bob Elwood, from Queen's University Belfast, told the BBC's Science in Action programme:
"I don't know what goes on in a crab's mind.... but what I can say is the whole behaviour goes beyond a straightforward reflex response and it fits all the criteria of pain."
Shell shocked
Pain is a subjective experience and studying it in animals — especially invertebrates such as crabs — is not easy.
But Prof Elwood designed an experiment to assess how crustaceans respond to potentially painful situations.
He looked at the European shore crab (Carcinus maenas) — a creature that usually takes shelter under dark rocks during the day to avoid being spotted and eaten by seagulls.
Ninety crabs were individually placed in a brightly lit arena, and had the option of scuttling to two dark shelters.
Once the creatures had taken refuge away from the light, half were given an electric shock in the first shelter they chose.
The shocked crabs were then placed back into the tank again, but to the researchers' surprise, most of them moved back to the original shelter where they had been stunned.
Those that made this decision were then shocked a second time.
But now the painful experience had an impact on their future behaviour.
Shore crab

Scientists have found further evidence that crustaceans feel pain.

The researchers placed the crabs in an arena and studied how the responded to electric shocks
The researchers placed the crabs in an arena and studied how the responded to electric shocks
Crabs close up
Prof Elwood said:
"Those crabs shocked in the previous trial were much more likely to switch shelters than those who hadn't been shocked in the previous trial.
Just two experiences produced a significant switch in behaviour.
They leave what is a desired place — a dark shelter — to go out into this dangerous light environment — they are giving up something very valuable."
The crustaceans were placed back in the arena another eight times, and although there were no more shocks, they continued to avoid the shelter where they had been sparked.
The scientists concluded that this was more than a simple reflex reaction to pain, and that the animals were learning from their experience and this was driving their future choices.
Animal welfare
Earlier work by the same team has also revealed that prawns and hermit crabs display behaviour that is consistent with our perception of pain.
They say they now believe that all decapod crustaceans — a group that also includes lobsters and crayfish — would show the same response.
Prof Elwood said that there were currently no regulations to protect the welfare of these animals.
He pointed to practices in some fisheries where claws are cut from live crabs before the animals are thrown back into the sea.
"You see these practices and you really do have to question whether they are reasonable... Even if you are reluctant to believe the data as being strongly suggestive [that the animals experience pain], is it worthwhile imposing this on billions of animals ever year throughout the world?"
Commenting on the research, Dr Lynne Sneddon, a senior lecturer at the University of Chester and the University of Liverpool, said the research was "thorough" and had been "carried out well".
You see these practices
and you really do have to
question whether they are
reasonable
Prof Bob Elwood
Queen's University, Belfast
Her research has focused on pain in fish, and said there were further avenues that the team could explore with crustaceans.
She said:
"You could look to see whether there are any changes in gene expression, electrical activity or hormone release that is different from non-painful stimulation."
But a spokesman for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that while the organisation had concluded that fish could feel pain, in the EU, decapods were not classified as sentient species.
He said the subject of pain in crustaceans was "controversial" and a matter of data interpretation.
However, he added that in an
earlier report about animals in laboratories the EFSA had recommended improving the welfare for these animals.
BBC © 2013
        Piranhas — new dams bring caribe attacks        
        Fish that walk on land        
        Scientists find 'smallest fish'       
        New species of grenadiers found in the western Mediterranean        
        New species uncovered in Venezuela        
        Ocean census discovers new fish       
       Ice sheet reveal ancient plant matter      
       High-resolution polar ice and sea ice elevation      
Pygmy Elephants and Palm Oil Threat
The only hope for these elephants now is protection of the lowland forest as nature reserves or sustainably managed logging concessions.
Forests are being burned and peat wetlands drained for plantations, causing huge releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Land clearances in Indonesia to meet the growing global demand for palm oil pose a serious threat to the environment.
Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.
     Clock ticking for Indonesian rainforest       
     Deforestation illegal logging primarily not because of poverty but corruption     
      Destruction of rainforest Indonesia Riau province     
Extreme drought in Amazon rainforest linked to deforestation and climate change
The trouble has been that while traditional aerial images can show areas that have been completely destroyed, they do not reveal selective logging of valuable trees such as mahogany.
Brazilian officials praised the scientists for highlighting the issue of selective logging, but said the new figures were hard to believe.
     Clock ticking for Indonesian rainforest       
     Deforestation across the world     
       Amazon 'stealth' logging revealed    
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
Most recent 'Circus'    click here
— 2014
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— 2003
Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
Moby Dick, or the Whale — by Herman Melville
audio free download click here
 
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