Posts Tagged ‘Salmon’

Homosexuality Common in the Wild, Scientists Say

May 26, 2008

As gay couples celebrate their newfound right to marry in California and opposition groups rally to fight the ruling, many struggle with this question: Is homosexuality natural?

On this issue, Nature has spoken: Same-sex lovin’ is common in hundreds of species, scientists say.

Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo, were a couple for about six years, during which they nurtured a fertilized egg together (given to them by a zookeeper) and raised the young chick that hatched.

According to University of Oslo zoologist Petter Böckman, about 1,500 animal species are known to practice same-sex coupling, including bears, gorillas, flamingos, owls, salmon and many others.

If homosexuality is natural in the animal kingdom, then there is the question of why evolution hasn’t eliminated this trait from the gene pool, since it doesn’t lead to reproduction.

It may simply be for pleasure.

“Not every sexual act has a reproductive function,” said Janet Mann, a biologist at Georgetown University who studies dolphins (homosexual behavior is very common in these marine mammals). “That’s true of humans and non-humans.”

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Restoring Fish Populations Leads To Tough Choice For Great Lakes Gulls

May 22, 2008

You might think that stocking the Great Lakes with things like trout and salmon would be good for the herring gull. The birds often eat from the water, so it would be natural to assume that more fish would mean better dining. But a new report published in the April journal of Ecology by the Ecological Society of America says that the addition of species such as exotic salmon and trout to the area has not been good for the birds, demonstrating that fishery management actions can sometimes have very unexpected outcomes.

Craig Hebert (National Wildlife Research Center in Ottawa, Canada) and his team analyzed 25 years of data on the gulls and found that throughout the Great Lakes region, the birds were in poor health in many areas. Tests of their fatty acids showed an increase in the type of transfat that mostly comes from food produced by humans.

“It seems that the birds are being forced to make a dietary shift from fish to terrestrial food, including garbage,” says Hebert.

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Rampant overfishing endangers Baltic fish stocks

April 30, 2008

A storm is brewing, which means that coastal fisherman Zbignew Struck, 46, is taking in his salmon nets in the Bay of Puck in Poland.
“The storm could tangle the nets”, he says from the cabin of his boat.
There is another reason for the haste: Struck has cast his nets into the sea without permission.
“I am afraid that the fishing inspectors will show up. They watch us from the air and at sea, and wait for us in the harbours”, says the fisherman, who shakes his head at the thought of a hefty fine.

The inspectors have been cracking down on coastal and open-sea fishing, as Poland has been put under pressure by the European Union to do something about rampant fish poaching.  According to an assessment made last year, Poland had been in violation of cod quotas. As punishment, a ban on cod fishing in the Baltic Sea was imposed on Poland for the second half of the year.  The most defiant flouted the ban. Now the fishing routine is nearly back to normal, and illegal fishing continues unabated.

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Agents trap salmon-eating sea lions in Ore.-Wash. river

April 28, 2008

One by one, curious California sea lions checked out the open cage left invitingly on a platform in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and flopped inside to chill out on the nice flat surface.

Big mistake.

Around noon the door clanged shut and state agents concluded their first day of trapping the salmon-hungry sea mammals. The sea lions weren’t having much fun behind bars Thursday, but it beat the bullet between the eyes some came within a whisker of getting under a federal removal authorization.

A day earlier the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that some of the animals could be trapped but not killed in reply to a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States.

The sea lions are protected by a 1972 federal law. An amendment, however, leaves open the possibility that some can be captured or killed if the states request it. Oregon and Washington did in 2006 with the support of Indian tribes and sport and commercial fishing groups.

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Salmon shortage threatens not only fishing season, but entire species

April 16, 2008

There is an ecological disaster in the making along much of the West Coast: wild salmon are vanishing in the region best known for spawning them.

As disturbing as this is for those who catch and sell the fish, it’s even more so for those who are desperately trying to figure out how to save the species.

While it may look picturesque, the fleet at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is frighteningly still.

“We’re going to lose a lot of boats out of this fleet that are going to have to do something else,” said fisherman Larry Collins.

Friday, the council that manages fishing along the West Coast shut down virtually all salmon fishing from Oregon to the Mexican border.

Click here for the full article.

Quite possibly the most glorious Animal-esque music videos ever created

February 13, 2008

I loved the Chemical Brothers before, but I love them even more after watching this video for their song “The Salmon Dance.” Listen to the little salmon teach the human about salmon life! It’s awesome!

Kinda like one of my favorite Nintendo DS games, Electroplankton, on crack.