Juneau, AK, United States
Juneau, AK, United States

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is a department within the government of Alaska. The Department of Fish and Game manages Alaska's fish, game, and aquatic plant resources. Wikipedia.


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News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.thefishsite.com

Two bills which aim to improve access to state funding for Alaska’s shellfish and marine plant cultivators have been passed by the state’s House of Representatives this week. House Bill 76 provides the financial infrastructure to develop a stable supply of seed for resident aquatic plants and shellfish at no additional cost to Alaskans. Today, Alaska shellfish farms do not have a regular, in-state source of seed for aquatic plants and other shellfish. Meanwhile House Bill 128 allows qualified non-profits to pursue enhancement and/or restoration projects involving shellfish species, including red and blue king crab, sea cucumber, abalone, geoduck and razor clams. Both bills are sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan). Alaska’s seafood industry is the single largest private employer in the state – commercial fisheries employ over 30,000 independent entrepreneurs and already have a monetary value of $6 billion. These bills would help increase and diversify Alaska’s fishery portfolio to help realize the $1 billion potential of commercial shellfish and marine plant production. “I hope to support the continued growth of local industry, and help Alaska remain competitive with China, Russia, and Canada, all of whom have invested significant resources in mariculture infrastructure,” said Rep. Ortiz. “We can do this by ensuring Alaskan shellfish and marine plant farmers have access to capital to jump-start the year-round, in-state seed supply they need.” “Alaskans have been harvesting shellfish for centuries, but the commercial potential of these fisheries far exceeds current levels,” Ortiz added. “While seeking to capitalize on the obvious opportunity presented by Alaska mariculture, it is crucial we realize these opportunities in a responsible manner that protects our existing world-class fisheries. With that in mind, HB 128 creates a framework for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to permit and manage these projects and sets out stringent safety standards to ensure sustainability and health of existing natural stocks.” Both bills have received broad support – from fishermen and women, constituents, community economic development organizations, and the Governor’s Mariculture Task Force. House Bill 76 passed the Alaska House of Representatives on May 1st by a vote of 26-14. House Bill 125 passed the House by a vote of 37-2. Both will now be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.


The research, which appears today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, sheds new light on how wet, windy weather can affect tree swallow nesting and underscores the importance of considering factors beyond temperature when examining how climate change might affect species' biological niche. Over the past decade and a half, the average egg hatching date for tree swallows—a common migratory bird species that winters in temperate southern climates before nesting in the spring at sites across North America, including the sub-Arctic regions covered in the study—has shifted earlier in the year by an average of six days. This change is similar to, but considerably greater than, changes seen in more southerly sites and until now has been believed to correlate with rising temperatures. However, when CU Boulder researchers tested how swallow nesting data from two different Alaskan sites corresponded with both daily and seasonal climate indicators like the number of windy days, days with measureable precipitation and average daily temperature, they found that windiness (or lack thereof) had the most consistent correlation with swallow breeding patterns over time. "We expected that temperature and precipitation would be much more strongly predictive than wind," said Daniel Doak, a professor in CU Boulder's Environmental Studies Program and the co-author of the new research. "The study demonstrates that fine-scale climate effects are important to consider when thinking about what's going to affect a species." The study developed as a result of a CU Boulder undergraduate's research efforts. Rachel Irons, then a junior in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, received a UROP grant and worked with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on a long-term tree swallow nesting study to fulfill her senior thesis requirements. "Swallow phenology in Alaska is shifting at twice the rate of the continental U.S.," said Irons, who is the lead author of the new paper. "I figured it was related to temperature, but I added in wind and precipitation measurements just to get the whole climate picture." The results showed that a long-term decline in windiness (and to a more variable extent, rain) in central Alaska over the past decade-plus correlated with the birds' earlier breeding much more strongly than temperature, indicating that wet, windy spring weather that may have delayed egg laying in the past is now less of an impediment for the swallows. The authors noted that while it is not necessarily surprising that wind and rain would affect an aerial foraging species like tree swallows, the findings emphasize the need to broaden the scope of consideration when making predictions about which climate mechanisms will influence population ecology. "This shows that our initial intuitions are not always good about what's going to impact these birds and their patterns," said Doak. Explore further: Early arrival gives bluebirds an edge in keeping nest sites More information: Wind and rain are the primary climate factors driving changing phenology of an aerial insectivore, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/lookup/doi/10.1098/rspb.2017.0412


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Wind and precipitation play a crucial role in advancing or delaying the breeding cycles of North American tree swallows, according to the results of a new University of Colorado Boulder-led study. The research, which appears today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, sheds new light on how wet, windy weather can affect tree swallow nesting and underscores the importance of considering factors beyond temperature when examining how climate change might affect species' biological niche. Over the past decade and a half, the average egg hatching date for tree swallows -- a common migratory bird species that winters in temperate southern climates before nesting in the spring at sites across North America, including the sub-Arctic regions covered in the study -- has shifted earlier in the year by an average of six days. This change is similar to, but considerably greater than, changes seen in more southerly sites and until now has been believed to correlate with rising temperatures. However, when CU Boulder researchers tested how swallow nesting data from two different Alaskan sites corresponded with both daily and seasonal climate indicators like the number of windy days, days with measureable precipitation and average daily temperature, they found that windiness (or lack thereof) had the most consistent correlation with swallow breeding patterns over time. "We expected that temperature and precipitation would be much more strongly predictive than wind," said Daniel Doak, a professor in CU Boulder's Environmental Studies Program and the co-author of the new research. "The study demonstrates that fine-scale climate effects are important to consider when thinking about what's going to affect a species." The study developed as a result of a CU Boulder undergraduate's research efforts. Rachel Irons, then a junior in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, received a UROP grant and worked with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on a long-term tree swallow nesting study to fulfill her senior thesis requirements. "Swallow phenology in Alaska is shifting at twice the rate of the continental U.S.," said Irons, who is the lead author of the new paper. "I figured it was related to temperature, but I added in wind and precipitation measurements just to get the whole climate picture." The results showed that a long-term decline in windiness (and to a more variable extent, rain) in central Alaska over the past decade-plus correlated with the birds' earlier breeding much more strongly than temperature, indicating that wet, windy spring weather that may have delayed egg laying in the past is now less of an impediment for the swallows. The authors noted that while it is not necessarily surprising that wind and rain would affect an aerial foraging species like tree swallows, the findings emphasize the need to broaden the scope of consideration when making predictions about which climate mechanisms will influence population ecology. "This shows that our initial intuitions are not always good about what's going to impact these birds and their patterns," said Doak. Additional co-authors of the new study include Alexandra Rose of CU Boulder; April Harding Scurr and Tricia Blake of the Alaska Songbird Institute; and Julie Hagelin of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.


Grant W.S.,Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Journal of Heredity | Year: 2015

Sequence mismatch analysis (MMA) and Bayesian skyline plots (BSP) are commonly used to reconstruct historical demography. A survey of 173 research articles (2009-2014), which included estimates of historical population sizes from mtDNA or cpDNA, shows a widespread genetic signature of demographic or spatial population expansion in species of all major taxonomic groups. Associating these expansions with climatic events can provide insights into the origins of lineage diversity, range expansions (or contractions), and speciation. However, several variables can introduce error into reconstructions of demographic history, including levels of sequence polymorphism, sampling scheme, sample size, natural selection, and estimates of mutation rate. Most researchers use substitution rates estimated from divergences in phylogenetic trees dated with fossils, or geological events. Recent studies show that molecular clocks calibrated with phylogenetic divergences can overestimate the timings of population-level events by an order of magnitude. Overestimates disconnect historical population reconstructions from climatic history and confound our understanding of the factors influencing genetic variability. If mismatch distributions and BSPs largely reflect demographic history, the widespread signature of population expansion in vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant populations appears to reflect responses to postglacial climate warming. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved.


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

The size of a large caribou herd in Alaska's Arctic region has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last three years, and researchers who have tentatively ruled out hunting and predation as significant factors for the decline are trying to determine why. The state's Central Arctic herd, which roams an area of north-central Alaska about the size of Ohio, hit a peak of about 70,000 caribou in 2010. It fell to 50,000 in 2013. That year, spring arrived late, meaning caribou had to trudge through snow later than usual at a time when their bodies are already stressed and not getting the grasses they need for nutrition. Surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game suggest the herd dwindled to about 22,000 caribou this year. There has been a higher than normal rate of death among adult female caribou tracked with radio collars but the reason for that is unclear, said state wildlife biologist Beth Lenart. The department does not believe hunting is a factor in the decline, saying caribou killed by hunters account for a small portion of overall deaths. The department doesn't think predation by wolves and bears plays a large role in regulating Arctic caribou herds, and biologists so far have not detected diseases affecting the herd, Lenart said. Pregnancy rates for female caribou are down slightly since 2013, but not alarmingly so, she said. Fewer adult males are tracked by tracking collars, making it more difficult to spot trends in their numbers. Researchers conclude that caribou have likely died when the sensors on their collars indicate the animals have not moved for at least 12 hours. Lenart plans to review more closely weather data to see if there might have been changes that biologists hadn't picked up on, like impacts to vegetation that could affect caribou nutrition. "But other than that, it's pretty challenging" pinpointing a cause, she said. The caribou's diet includes mushrooms, lichen, willow leaves, small shrubs and grass-like plants called sedges. Some of the Central Arctic herd caribou may have joined other herds, though the extent to which that may have happened is unclear, Lenart said. The herd's territory covers 44,400 square miles from the Arctic coast to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to the southern side of the Brooks Range of mountains. It's not unusual for there to be rises and falls in the numbers of caribou in herds, but Lenart described the change for the Central Arctic herd as "definitely a steep decline." While there's no evidence that climate change is affecting the herd yet, the Arctic is seeing the effects of a warming climate, with polar bears serving as a poster child of sorts for the change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the worldwide polar bear population at about 26,000 animals, but there are no comparable historical numbers. Polar Bears International, an advocacy group, says the bears are traditionally difficult to count because it's expensive to survey the remote locations where they live. The U.S. government has protected polar bears and some seals, citing long-term threats posed to them by declining sea ice. The U.S. Geological Survey is trying to understand how future environmental change might affect caribou habitat, food and reproduction. Longer periods of abundant food could help animals put on more weight for the winter but if summers are very buggy, with insects harassing caribou so much that they can't eat or must travel long distances to get away, that could have an impact, said Layne Adams, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Work last summer evaluating caribou range quality compared to the 1970s found no clear changes, Adams said. Some Alaska hunters are critical of current hunting rules that allow non-residents to kill up to five caribou during the hunting season and allow the killing of females that might have calves depending on them. "Obviously hunting contributes to decline. Whether it's a significant factor, we don't know," said Mark Richards, executive director of the Resident Hunters of Alaska group. "But you can't deny that hunting has an effect. Otherwise, they wouldn't restrict hunting." The fish and game department said it plans to recommend an overall reduction in the number of caribou that can be killed from the Central Artic herd because it now has fewer than the 28,000 to 32,000 animals considered its optimal management size. Adams said the Central Arctic and other herds in the region that have experienced recent declines all reached historic highs prior to their drops. Two other northern Alaska herds, the Western Arctic and Teshekpuk, have seen declines in recent years, though the Teshekpuk appears to have stabilized, said Lincoln Parrett, a research coordinator with the state Department of Fish and Game.


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: phys.org

The state's Central Arctic herd, which roams an area of north-central Alaska about the size of Ohio, hit a peak of about 70,000 caribou in 2010. It fell to 50,000 in 2013. That year, spring arrived late, meaning caribou had to trudge through snow later than usual at a time when their bodies are already stressed and not getting the grasses they need for nutrition. Surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game suggest the herd dwindled to about 22,000 caribou this year. There has been a higher than normal rate of death among adult female caribou tracked with radio collars but the reason for that is unclear, said state wildlife biologist Beth Lenart. The department does not believe hunting is a factor in the decline, saying caribou killed by hunters account for a small portion of overall deaths. The department doesn't think predation by wolves and bears plays a large role in regulating Arctic caribou herds, and biologists so far have not detected diseases affecting the herd, Lenart said. Pregnancy rates for female caribou are down slightly since 2013, but not alarmingly so, she said. Fewer adult males are tracked by tracking collars, making it more difficult to spot trends in their numbers. Researchers conclude that caribou have likely died when the sensors on their collars indicate the animals have not moved for at least 12 hours. Lenart plans to review more closely weather data to see if there might have been changes that biologists hadn't picked up on, like impacts to vegetation that could affect caribou nutrition. "But other than that, it's pretty challenging" pinpointing a cause, she said. The caribou's diet includes mushrooms, lichen, willow leaves, small shrubs and grass-like plants called sedges. Some of the Central Arctic herd caribou may have joined other herds, though the extent to which that may have happened is unclear, Lenart said. The herd's territory covers 44,400 square miles from the Arctic coast to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to the southern side of the Brooks Range of mountains. It's not unusual for there to be rises and falls in the numbers of caribou in herds, but Lenart described the change for the Central Arctic herd as "definitely a steep decline." While there's no evidence that climate change is affecting the herd yet, the Arctic is seeing the effects of a warming climate, with polar bears serving as a poster child of sorts for the change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the worldwide polar bear population at about 26,000 animals, but there are no comparable historical numbers. Polar Bears International, an advocacy group, says the bears are traditionally difficult to count because it's expensive to survey the remote locations where they live. The U.S. government has protected polar bears and some seals, citing long-term threats posed to them by declining sea ice. The U.S. Geological Survey is trying to understand how future environmental change might affect caribou habitat, food and reproduction. Longer periods of abundant food could help animals put on more weight for the winter but if summers are very buggy, with insects harassing caribou so much that they can't eat or must travel long distances to get away, that could have an impact, said Layne Adams, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Work last summer evaluating caribou range quality compared to the 1970s found no clear changes, Adams said. Some Alaska hunters are critical of current hunting rules that allow non-residents to kill up to five caribou during the hunting season and allow the killing of females that might have calves depending on them. "Obviously hunting contributes to decline. Whether it's a significant factor, we don't know," said Mark Richards, executive director of the Resident Hunters of Alaska group. "But you can't deny that hunting has an effect. Otherwise, they wouldn't restrict hunting." The fish and game department said it plans to recommend an overall reduction in the number of caribou that can be killed from the Central Artic herd because it now has fewer than the 28,000 to 32,000 animals considered its optimal management size. Adams said the Central Arctic and other herds in the region that have experienced recent declines all reached historic highs prior to their drops. Two other northern Alaska herds, the Western Arctic and Teshekpuk, have seen declines in recent years, though the Teshekpuk appears to have stabilized, said Lincoln Parrett, a research coordinator with the state Department of Fish and Game. Explore further: Caribou the missing piece of arctic warming puzzle


News Article | January 12, 2016
Site: phys.org

While the groups have won strong restrictions on logging of the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest, they have been denied in their efforts to win federal protection for the wolf. This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied them again: The agency determined that the wolf, known as the Alexander Archipelago wolf, should not be listed as an endangered or threatened species. While the government agreed with conservationists that the wolf is declining in parts of its range and that loss of its habitat from logging is playing a role in that decline, it said the overall population of the wolf appears to be healthy. "Although the Alexander Archipelago wolf faces several stressors throughout its range related to wolf harvest, timber harvest, road development, and climate-related events in southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia, the best available information indicates that populations of the wolf in most of its range are likely stable," the Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday. Named for a collection of remote islands, the wolf actually ranges across much of heavily forested mainland southeast Alaska and the coast of British Columbia in Canada. Conservationists pressing for its protection have focused on wolves in the archipelago, which includes on Prince of Wales Island, an expanse of nearly 2,600 square miles with about 6,000 people. Part of Prince of Wales is being logged under one of the largest timber sales in the Tongass in two decades, and estimates say the island could now have as few as 50 wolves, down from about 300 two decades ago. Logging can also reduce habitat for deer, a critical food source for the wolves. Conservationists built part of their argument on scientific evidence showing that wolves on the islands - an area the government calls "GMU 2," for Game Management Unit 2 - are genetically distinct from those roaming the mainland. The government agreed there are differences but said they were not strong enough to warrant listing the island wolves as a distinct species. The best available genetic data "do not indicate that the GMU 2 population harbors significant adaptive variation, which is supported further by the fact that the GMU 2 population is not persisting in an unusual or unique ecological setting," the government concluded. Bruce Dale, the director of the division of wildlife within the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which argued against a listing, said the state was committed to protecting the wolf through improved forest management and hunting practices and other means. Despite the declines, he said wolves and deer on the islands remain abundant relative to other parts of the range. "That doesn't mean they weren't more abundant before," he said. The decision was a victory for the region's remaining timber industry. Only one large sawmill remains on Prince of Wales Island. The Fish and Wildlife Service said it expects wolves on the island to decline further in the next 30 years from "the cumulative effect of stressors." "However, wolves here constitute only 4 percent of the range of the Alexander Archipelago wolf and 6 percent of its current estimated total population. Therefore, negative population impacts on these islands will likely not affect the rangewide population in a significant way," the agency said. Explore further: Summit to weigh endangered red wolf's plight as numbers drop


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Declines in the Arctic sea ice are arguably the most dramatic evidence of the effects of current climate warming on ocean systems. Native peoples of the far north have long appreciated and relied upon the migrations of animals with the changing seasons, including some of the largest and least studied, the Arctic whales. While sea ice is perhaps the most defining feature of their habitat, the relationship between Arctic whales and sea ice is still largely a mystery, and there is increasing concern over how these species will adapt to climate related changes in sea ice. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and a team of scientists working in collaboration with Native hunters in Alaska and Canada have just published results of a study in the Royal Society Biology Letters titled, "Genetic Profiling Links Changing Sea Ice to Shifting Beluga Whale Migration Patterns," assessing the relationship between changing sea ice and beluga whale migration as well as summer residency patterns of a number of populations over two decades of dramatic sea ice changes in the Pacific Arctic. The researchers found that beluga whales, often known as the white whale, (Delphinapterus leucas) exhibited a tremendous ability to deal with widely varying sea ice conditions from one year to the next over a 20-year time frame in their return to traditional summering grounds each year. "It was not clear how sea ice influences beluga whale migration patterns and their summer habitat use, and climate change has added urgency to determining how environmental factors might shape the behavior and ecology of this species," said Greg O'Corry-Crowe, Ph.D., lead author and a research professor at FAU Harbor Branch, whose research focuses on combining molecular genetic analysis with field ecology to study the molecular and behavioral ecology of marine apex predators. Using a combination of genetic profiling, sighting data and satellite microwave imagery of sea ice in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas, O'Corry-Crowe and collaborators also found some dramatic shifts in migration behavior in years with unusually low spring sea ice concentration and in one case with an increase in killer whale (Orcinus orca) sightings and reported predation on beluga whales. For the study, O'Corry-Crowe and collaborators from the University of Alaska; the North Slope Department of Wildlife Management, Alaska; the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; the Native Village of Kotzebue in Alaska; the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee; and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Yellowknife, Canada, used genetic "fingerprinting" to investigate the population of origin of whales returning to four traditional coastal sites in the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic between 1988 and 2007. They compiled detailed beluga sightings and harvest data for the same period to assess inter-annual variation on timing of return. Lastly, they analyzed sea ice data in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas to determine seasonal and regional patterns of sea ice from 1979 to 2014. They used data from tissue samples from 978 beluga whales, which were collected over a 30-year period. "Continued reductions in sea ice may result in increased predation at key aggregation areas and shifts in beluga whale behavior with implications for population viability, ecosystem structure and the subsistence cultures that rely on them," said O'Corry-Crowe. Co-authors of the study are Andrew Mahoney, Ph.D., University of Alaska; Robert Suydam, Ph.D., North Slope Department of Wildlife Management, Alaska; Lori Quakenbush, Alaska Department of Fish and Game; Alex Whiting, Native Village of Kotzebue, Alaska; Lloyd Lowry, Alaska Beluga Whale Committee; and Lois Harwood, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada. Founded in 1971, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research community of marine scientists, engineers, educators and other professionals focused on Ocean Science for a Better World. The institute drives innovation in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, ocean observing systems and marine education. For more information, visit http://www. . Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU's existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit http://www. .


News Article | January 16, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease In the continuing saga of potential perils for sushi eaters in the United States, researchers have exposed that a tapeworm once believed to infect only wild Asian fish has been detected in salmon in North American waters off the Alaskan coast. Experts from the Czech Academy of Sciences and Alaska Department of Fish and Game, writing in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases of the CDC, recently identified the presence of the Japanese broad tapeworm in wild pink salmon caught in the state. The Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense was first recognized in 1986 as a human parasite. Back in 2012, a 40-year-old Japanese man who was fond of consuming chilled salmon had what was deemed a “watery” case of gastrointestinal condition, with a meter-length “tape-shaped object” found to emerge from his anus. It turned out to be a case of the Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, which primarily survives in fish but can infect humans, bears, and wolves. The patient was given oral anti-worm medication. The parasite has been found in about 2,000 documented cases in Japan as well as in northeastern Asia. The first such infection in North America was identified in 2008. The team, hunting for the tapeworm larva under the microscope and confirming the species using advanced molecular technique, concluded that in light of the recent discovery, “salmon from the American and Asian Pacific coasts and elsewhere” pose likely risks for persons eating the fish raw. This tapeworm infection usually comes with no symptoms, but sometimes it can be accompanied by abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss, the CDC noted. Vitamin B12 deficiency resulting in pernicious anemia, as well as complications such as obstruction of the intestines and gall bladder disease, may also take place. Infection can occur by eating raw or undercooked fish, including salmon, perch, trout, and usually other freshwater species. Salmon, for instance, live in both fresh and salt water and could contain the tapeworm either way. Fish could harbor the infectious organisms when lightly salted, smoked, or pickled. As a form of precaution, the FDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit at a minimum and freezing at -4 degrees Fahrenheit or below for seven days. The infection can be treated using medications such as praziquantel or niclosamide. The good news is the likelihood of acquiring a tapeworm in the United States is quite low, with most of its counterparts in Japan going unnoticed. Consuming pork or beef too yields only around 1,000 new tapeworm cases every year. Study author Jayde Ferguson pointed to improvements in identifying in distinguishing the tapeworm from other types of the parasite. “This worm has always been here, and we’re just getting better at identifying it.” It could have been worse for seafood lovers. In August last year, findings of laboratory tests conducted by the FDA found hepatitis A in scallops suspected as the possible source of an outbreak of the virus, which sickened at least 206 people in Hawaii. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

This 2014 photo provided by Dylan Hatfield shows Hatfield, left, and his brother Darrik Seibold in Sand Point, Alaska. Hatfield said his 36-year-old brother was one of six men missing and presumed drowned when a crabbing vessel Destination went missing Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, near St. George, Alaska. (Courtesy of Dylan Hatfield via AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Dylan Hatfield got one last chance to see his brother and five other crewmen on the Destination, a 98-foot crab boat missing and presumed sunk in the Bering Sea. The Destination was tied up Thursday in the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor, preparing to leave. Hatfield, 29, had just come in from the Bering Sea on a different boat. He had worked on the Destination off and on for seven years, and when he left, his older brother, 36-year-old Darrik Seibold, replaced him. "We went down to the boat, brought a case of beer, said hello to everybody, gave everybody big hugs, told stories and had laughs," Hatfield said. Afterward, they all went out for pizza at the Norwegian Rat Saloon." "I got to tell the fellas I loved them, I got to hug my brother and tell him that I loved him, and then they left," Hatfield said. Early Friday, the Destination left for St. Paul Island, one of the tiny Pribilof Islands in the vast Bering Sea. On Saturday morning, Hatfield got the call: the Destination was missing 2 miles off another Pribilof Island, St. George. The Coast Guard had received an emergency location radio transmission from a device that transmits when it hits saltwater. Searchers rushed to the scene. They found an oil slick, a life ring and buoys. They emergency location beacon was floating in the slick. The lack of debris, the failure to make a mayday call, the absence of lifeboats or mariners in survival suits pointed to a sudden tragedy. "In my mind, they rolled over," Hatfield said. "I'm almost positive that those boys are still on the boat." Commercial fishing is inherently dangerous, and crab fishing in the Bering Sea is notoriously so. Fishermen work winters in icy, heaving platforms handling heavy, unforgiving equipment. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes that fishermen drop crab pots, each weighing 750 to 850 pounds empty, rigged to hundreds of feet of coiled line and buoys used to recover them from the ocean bottom. Just getting to the fishing grounds is dangerous. Vessels stack the heavy pots on their main deck in three to five tiers high as they travel in shallow ocean that sees big waves, high wind and icing that can make a boat top-heavy. In the 1990s, 73 people died in the Bering Sea crab fishery as the result of capsizing, sinking, falling overboard or an industrial accident. Two factors, however, have dramatically lowered that rate of nearly eight deaths annually. The Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 1999 instituted an upgraded inspection program with an emphasis on stability and safety. Vessels found lacking were not allowed to leave port. Federal managers also changed the fishery. Before 2005, boats rushed out from ports "derby style," trying to catch as much crab as possible until a quota was met, even if it meant fishing in dangerous conditions. That was replaced with "crab rationalization," in which most of the catch was guaranteed to boat owners. That meant they could use fewer boats, take longer to catch their quota and sit out dangerous conditions. It also meant hundreds of crew members lost their jobs. However, safety improved. From October 1999 through last year, 10 lives have been lost, according to the national institute. The Destination was on its way to St. Paul and planned to drop off bait on the island before heading out for a week or two to fish. The boat was carrying 200 crab pots and probably about 15,000 pounds of bait, Hatfield said. The boat had just rounded the northeast quarter of St. George Island, an area known for turbulent water, when it went down. "You get the shelf shallowing-up there, and lots of tide," Hatfield said. "It's always really cold around those islands." A number of factors probably led to a capsizing, he said. The boat may have iced up from sea spray freezing in 20-degree temperatures. An alarm in the engine or steering room may have malfunctioned. The boat had three tanks for holding crab. Pumps keep water circulating to them. If a pump shut off, it could cause a tank to go slack — partially emptied of water that provides stability, Hatfield said. When a big wave hits, and the boat rolls in one direction, a slack tank makes it harder to recover. "It's never the first one," Hatfield said. "They probably took a big one, laid 'em over, and they didn't recover. Then they took another one, and another one, until she probably just rolled over."

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