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International News

€17 MILLION LOSS IN NORWAY

An algae disease which hit fish farms in Norway last May cost the industry around €17m. according to a report. It occurred in the north of the country and 14,000 tonnes of fish were lost in Norland and Troms, the two regions most heavily affected.

'LONGEST ANIMAL EVER' DISCOVERED IN DEEP-SEA CANYON OFF AUSTRALIA

Underwater explorers claim to have found a 150-foot-long (45 metres) siphonophore — a translucent, stringy creature that, like coral, is made up of smaller critters — living in a submarine canyon off the coast of Australia. It's "seemingly the largest animal ever discovered," the Schmidt Ocean Institute said. The new, record-setting siphonophore was one of several discoveries made by a team aboard the research vessel, Falkor, while exploring deep-sea canyons near Australia's Ningaloo Coast. (Photo Schmidt Ocean Institute)

UNITED KINGDOM CUTTLEFISH IN DANGER

The Marine Conservation Society has added Cuttlefish caught by trawlers in the English Channel to its “avoid list” over fears the catch is unsustainable. There has been a big increase in catches of the molluscs over the last decade, caused by a rise in prices according to the MCS which said that UK landings were worth stg£14.9 million. The MCS ‘Good Fish Guide’ rates fish stocks from green, showing consumers they are the most sustainable best choice, through amber to red, which shoppers and diners are urged to avoid. Cuttlefish are now on the ‘red’ list. Most of the cuttlefish caught in the English Channel are exported to other countries in Europe, but the MCS said there was a growing interest in the seafood in the UK because it tastes similar to squid. The fishery for Cuttlefish has no limits on the catch, no minimum size they can be caught at and no plans in place for sustainable management, the charity said, adding that Cuttlefish had brains. It warned that the vast majority of the catch have not had a chance to come inshore to breed and claimed that trawls used damage seabed habitats and other wildlife.

Fisheries Grant announced in Wales to help fishing sector through Covid 19 pandemic

A new grant to support fishing businesses during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has today been announced by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

Fishing has been hit especially hard as exports and domestic markets have shut due to the public health crisis.

Existing support for the wider business sector is often based on factors such as the rateable value of fixed premises, or the amount of members of staff employed – but these often don’t apply to fishing businesses.

The new support has been announced by the Welsh Government as a targeted grant for vessel owning fishing businesses, to ensure they are able to cover their costs during this difficult time.

The new grant will help cover fixed costs associated with owing a fishing vessel and will be based on the size of vessel owned. The grant will be calculated by vessel size, with a maximum payment of £10,000 to ensure synergies with the Economic Resilience Fund. The grant will be open to all active seafood businesses with Welsh-licenced vessels and recorded sales of £10,000 or more in 2019, and all eligible fishers will be provided with a one off payment. Further details on the application process will be announced shortly. Eligible fishers should first register online with Rural Payments Wales (RPW). Once the applications are open, fishers may then apply online through RPW.

The Minister said: “We know that COVID 19 and the storms earlier this year have caused significant difficulties for the fisheries sector.

“Fishing is a hugely important part of the Welsh food and drink sector, and it sustains livelihoods and communities across our coasts.

“But the COVID-19 pandemic has hit exports and internal markets incredibly hard, leading to many in the sector facing the loss of their livelihoods, and the permanent closure of their businesses.

“This will be a period of uncertainty for many in the sector, and that’s why we want to ensure we could support them as they face unavoidable costs. Action is now required to protect the future of the Welsh fishing businesses and the social fabric of our fishing communities which, due to the immediate and devastating impacts on markets, is now under threat.

“The support provided will help those eligible to cover their costs during this difficult time, and ensure Wales has a competitive fishing sector once this crisis has passed.”

Research questions ethical use of cleaner fish in Norway’s salmon lice battle

The Norwegian food safety authority, has been investigating the effectiveness of cleaner fish in aquaculture as a de-lousing technique, amid growing concern that the industry is sacrificing the species for the well-being of its commercial salmon.

The success of Norwegian aquaculture is often measured by the presence of sea lice in farms, and hence the use of cleaner fish, which naturally eat the parasites on other larger fish at sea, has been hailed as a breakthrough by the industry.

However, a rising number of farmers are raising concerns over the welfare of cleaner fish, which do not appear to be thriving in cages with salmon; on average, the mortality rate for cleaner fish in the industry at present appears to be close to 40%, potentially higher considering the number of fish that go missing.

There is also a lack of documented effectiveness for the method, according to Mattilsynet. Tore Kristiansen, head of research at the country's institute of marine research, emphasized that this is a knowledge gap for the industry in need of filling.