Bombay duck is dying. Blame fishing, warming

An article from The Times of India explores the effects of climate change & ocean waters warming on fish stocks and the fishing and culinary industries. Here is an excerpt from the article followed by a link for those who want to read more. “…Of most concern perhaps is the fate of the state’s famous Bombay duck. As with other fish, catch rose through the 1960s and ’70s due to increased mechanized fishing. But the five-year average of annual landings of the fish has reduced by more than a third from 30,000 tonnes in the 1980s to around 20,000 tonnes now, according to CMFRI. Fishing pressures may also be causing this fish to mature earlier, producing fewer eggs. Only a few, low-value species saw an increase.: sardine (taarla) catch went up by 142%, mackerel (bangda) by 133% and tuna by 70%. Until the late 1990s, sardines and mackerel were rarely found north of Ratnagiri. If the decline continues, the new home for Bombay duck, albeit a different species, may be West Bengal; catch of the fish has increased in that state as well as in Orissa as fisheries in the east have developed in recent years. Silver pomfret has also been severely affected, with its five-year average of annual landings dropping almost 80% from 24,000 tonnes in the 1980s to just over 5,000 tonnes in recent years, said Deshmukh. In fact, of 25 important fish stocks in the state, only two species are still abundant, found a CMFRI assessment from 2007 to 2011. More than half are in decline. The drop in stocks is due to overfishing and the increased demand for certain seafood. Fish stocks here can sustain around 8,000 boats with reasonable profit, according to CMFRI estimates, but the actual number of boats plying the region is over 17,000. Of these, around 5,600 are trawlers ”almost twice” the optimal number. Boats are also catching younger, smaller fish, giving populations less of a chance to reproduce. Climate change may add to the pressures on local stocks. Larger fish tend to be more sensitive to environmental changes…”

India rocket launches asteroid-spotting satellite

Not about water but cool being protected from asteroids with suitcase sized Canadian satellite! Excerpt from article: India’s PSLV-C20 satellite launch vehicle, carrying the SARAL Indo-French satellite as one of its payloads, lifts off from the launchpad at Sriharikora on February 25, 2013, in a photo released by the Indian presidential palace. India launched a rocket Monday carrying seven satellites into orbit, including a Canadian orbiter that will scan for asteroids that could be hurtling toward Earth. India launched a rocket Monday carrying seven satellites into orbit, including a Canadian orbiter that will scan for asteroids that could be hurtling toward Earth. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off from the Sriharikota rocket launch centre located on an island off the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The launch, witnessed by Indian President President Pranab Mukherjee at the space mission control centre, “was perfect”, Devi Prasad Karnik, an official of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation, told AFP. The suitcase-sized Canadian satellite, which the Canadian Space Agency calls a “sentinel in the sky”, will circle the globe every 100 minutes, scanning space to pinpoint asteroids that may come close to Earth.