Fish Update Briefing, Friday, November 23

FUp Briefing

SCIENTISTS in the UK are carrying out a detailed study on the Mexican tetra fish, which has the ability to repair its own heart, to discover if the process can be used for humans who have suffered a heart attack. One gene appears to play a key role in the process. In the study, which is being funded by the British Heart Foundation, Dr Mathilda Mommersteeg and her team at the University of Oxford studied two types of Mexican tetra fish – river dwellers that are able to self-heal their heart tissue, and cave dwellers that cannot. The study authors say their findings suggest it may one day be possible to regenerate damaged hearts in people by artificially modifying how these and other genes function.
DANIEL Myer ‘Danny’ Cohen, a leading figure in the fishing industry on the east coast of the United States, has died at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. He was the founder and head of Atlantic Cape Fisheries and a key figure in Saving Seafood, the US coalition of fishing communities. Cohen was also a strong advocate for sustainable fishing long before it became a fashionable cause. Born into a traditional Jewish family, some of whom had fled Nazi Germany, he began his seafood industry career with the New England oyster sector. He also served on a number of US fishing related organisations.
THE European Commission has added to its ‘blue economy’ strategy by making available almost 19 million euros to target a number of specific opportunities in fishing and aquaculture. The figure (€18.7 million) will be channelled through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and will concentrate on efforts to drive innovation, entrepreneurial skills and vocational training schemes. Part of the money will be used help innovative technology projects find the capital they need to become market ready.
PEOPLE are being warned to avoid eating fish or shellfish from the Mindarie Marina area in Perth, Western Australia, after testing confirmed highly elevated levels of potentially toxic microscopic algae. The algae could produce paralytic shellfish poisoning, the state’s acting environmental health executive director, Richard Theobald, said this week. ‘These algae, which are not visible to the naked eye, can produce a very potent neurotoxin which could be absorbed by filter feeding shellfish and potentially consumed by crabs and fish to a lesser extent,’ he advised. ‘Normal cooking processes will not destroy these toxins.’


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