Industry

Lobster population is shifting north; ocean warming blamed - Phys.org

The trend is driving lobstermen in Connecticut and Rhode Island out of business, ending a centuries-old way of life.

Restaurant diners, supermarket shoppers and summer vacationers aren't seeing much difference in price or availability, since the overall supply of lobsters is pretty much steady.

But because of the importance of lobsters to New England's economy, history and identity, the northward shift stands as a particularly sad example of how climate change may be altering the natural range of many animals and plants.

"It's a shame," said Jason McNamee, chief of marine resource management for Rhode Island's Division of Fish and Wildlife. "It's such a traditional, historical fishery."

In 2013, the number of adult lobsters in New England south of Cape Cod slid to about 10 million, just one-fifth the total in the late 1990s, according to a report issued this month by regulators. The lobster catch in the region sank to about 3.3 million pounds in 2013, from a peak of about 22 million in 1997.

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Further finding of banana pathogen 'not unexpected'

Further test results have confirmed a positive result for the Panama Tropical-Race 4 pathogen on the same Tully Valley farm where the disease was originally found in March. “Laboratory testing involving PCR and biological (vegetative compatibility group or VCG) testing of fungal cultures extracted from the sample has confirmed the presence of the disease on another area of the farm,” said Chief Biosecurity Officer for Biosecurity Queensland, Dr Jim Thompson. “It is quite possible that this site may have been infested prior to the initial detection in March.”
 
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Old World bollworm may be worse than New World bollworm

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Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are advising producers about the possible arrival of a potential major new pest of field crops and vegetables in the U.S. if its ominous track-record in other countries is any indication.

The pest is the Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, and was recently detected in Florida. This is the first record of it in the continental U.S. after being discovered in Brazil in 2013, said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state integrated pest management leader in San Angelo.

“Our cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa zea, has been a pest of cotton and other crops in North America for as long as crops have been grown here,” he said.

Allen said U.S. producers refer to the domestic bollworm as simply the cotton bollworm or corn earworm, depending on what crop it is damaging. But the rest of the world calls it the New World bollworm to differentiate it from its relative the Old World bollworm, arguably a much more ominous threat.

Ecuador shrimp larvae production drops 30% - Undercurrent News

Ecuador's production of shrimp larvae has dropped 30% to 3.5 billion in the last months of this year, compared to the average monthly production of 5bn larvae in 2013 and 2014, El Universo reports.

The drop, which has seen Omarsa larval shrimp supplier Faraecu shut down operations in July this year, is linked to lower farming densities in the country, as Undercurrent News reported previously.

"Many [shrimp farmers] have decided on not seeding, and others have failed to harvest because they haven't received orders from packers," said Alex Elghoul, representative of shrimp hatcheries from the National Aquaculture Chamber (CNA).

He said the issue was linked to low prices in Asia.

"Prices have been decreasing for 16 months, since February 2014, and have dropped so much that discourages the producer to harvest as much shrimp as in previous months," said Jose Antonio Camposano, CNA chief executive.

According to Camposano, competitors such as Indonesia and India produce more volumes saturating the market.

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Texas battling bermudagrass stem maggot

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A new pest, the bermudagrass stem maggot, has been detected in seven Texas counties in the Gulf coast region and a pair of entomologists with Texas AgriLife Extension are warning forage producers to be aware of the dangers the pest presents to growers.

Robert Bowling, Texas AgriLife Assistant professor and Extension specialist in Corpus Christi, reports the Bermudagrass stem maggot, Atherigona reversur, is native to several Asian countries. In 2010, it was reported damaging bermudagrass from three counties in Georgia. This invasive fly quickly spread across the southern U.S. and, in 2013, was first reported infesting bermudagrass in Texas.

“The adult BSM is a small yellowish fly with dark eyes. It lays eggs on the bermudagrass stem near a node. The immature (maggot or larva) stage is yellowish and grows to about one-eight-inch long,” Dr. Bowling noted in a South Texas entomology update earlier this month. “Larvae are generally hard to find because they frequently have left the stem by the time plants show symptoms of damage.”

Papua New Guinea defends import ban

Papua New Guinea is defending an import ban that's aimed at growing small to medium enterprises in the domestic market.

The Agriculture Minister, Tommy Tomscoll, says the import ban on uncooked poultry products from Australia will continue and bans on imports on agriculture produce including bulb onions, tomato, carrots, lettuce and broccoli will follow suit.

The Post Courier reports Mr Tomscoll saying that Papua New Guineans must be allowed to grow their own small and medium industries and have access to the domestic market.

He says this is fair, given that many of the countries who enjoy PNG markets for their exports have stringent quarantine and customs regulations that stop PNG producers from accessing their import markets.

Source: radionz.co.nz

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Selective breeding of Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) for growth and resistance to Taura Syndrome Virus - ResearchGate

ABSTRACT From 1995 to 1998, the Oceanic Institute operated a breeding program for Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeusvannamei, based on a selection index weighted equally for growth and resistance to Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV). In 1998, two separate breeding lines were established. One line was selected 100% for growth (Growth line) and a second line was selected on an index weighted 70% for TSV resistance and 30% for growth (TSV line). After one generation of selection, select shrimp from the Growth line were 21% larger than unselected control shrimp (24.2 vs. 20.0 g). The half-sib heritability (h2) estimate for growth was 0.84±0.43(s.e.) and realized h2 was 1.0±0.12. Females were 12.7% larger than males. Shrimp tails accounted for 65.1% of total body weight and males had a significantly higher percent tail than females (65.7% vs. 64.5%; P<0.001). Half-sib h2 for percent tail was 0.15±0.12. In the TSV line, there was an 18.4% increase in survival to TSV between select and control shrimp after one generation of selection (46.4% vs. 39.2%). Realized h2 for TSV resistance was 0.28±0.14 and h2 on the underlying scale was 0.30±0.13.

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Bluff oyster quota achieved after stormy season | Stuff.co.nz

More settled weather through the latter part of winter has allowed the Bluff oyster industry to reach its 10 million quota for the season, Bluff Oyster Management Company spokesman Graeme Wright says.

Only one boat was still out fishing and it had about 4 to 5 more days of fishing, as the season wound down, he said.

"It's all but all done, about 98 per cent done."

They had lost a lot of fishing days through early and mid-winter and boats only got out for about eight days in June. Settled periods since then had helped them catch up, he said.

"It's still down a wee bit but we've had some reasonable catches."

The other companies had finished fishing their quota, some had finished as early as the end of May, Wright said.

READ MORE: Bluff oyster demand down, but quota within sight

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Wheat midge predators find new home in Montana - The Western Producer

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A wheat midge outbreak in Montana recently sent two entomologists on a cross-border hunting trip into Saskatchewan.

Gadi Reddy and Brian Thompson of Montana State University were collecting parasitoid wasps in Saskatchewan wheat fields to take back and release in the state’s wheat producing areas.

“Around six years ago we started to get wheat midge inside the golden triangle wheat production area of Montana,” said Thompson.

“Previous to that, wheat midge had entered the Flathead Valley and caused major economic losses to that wheat.”

He said producers see natural predators as a good alternative to using chemicals.

“Our growers in the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee are very interested in projects like these natural biocontrol programs for reasons like reducing pesticide use, reducing environmental impact of pesticides,” he said.

A wheat midge looks like a small orange fly. It emerge from the pupae stage in late June and early July.

 

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