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from Photographers' Blog:

Circle of life at Greece’s fish farms

Sofiko village, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

Fish farming was a business that a few decades ago was completely alien in Greece, where eating fish was strictly related to the local fisherman, the weather conditions and the phase of the moon.

These days, regardless of the moon and the weather, we can all buy fresh fish at extremely low prices, every day. And from my experience of the industry during the days I photographed its fish farms and hatcheries, I realized there is more to the process than I thought – it’s a production line that resembles the circle of life itself.

The first step in the journey is at the hatchery. There you’ll find the broodstock, a group of fish held in the facility for breeding purposes. Once the eggs are chosen, they’re transferred to different tanks where they start growing up. At the same time, ichthyologists, the scientists who study fish, carry out regular checks on the newborns to make sure they’re healthy.

What do they eat? Well, they don’t consume food the way we think. A team at the hatchery is responsible for the daily production of plankton – a microscopic organism fish feed on - from scratch. Just next to the tanks where the fish live, an entire business devoted to taking care of the food has been set up, made up of colorful big plastic “tubes” as well as huge cans with different types of plankton – phytoplankton and zooplankton.

from Photographers' Blog:

Fishing for a living fossil

Fonte Boa, Brazil

By Bruno Kelly

This was the second year I’ve had the chance to document the fishing of the world’s largest freshwater fish with scales, the arapaima, or pirarucu, as it’s known in the Brazilian Amazon. Last year I photographed a community that fished only at night for a few days to fill their quota, but this year it would be done in the day and the fishing would last a week.

I traveled to the Mamiraua nature reserve, some 600 km (373 miles) west of Manaus along the Solimoes river, one of the two main tributaries of the Amazon. This reserve was created in 1996 with the aim of promoting sustainable use of natural resources for the development of the river communities. The trip began with a two-hour flight from Manaus to Tefe, and from there on a fast launch to the town of Fonte Boa, affectionately known as the Land of Pirarucu by its residents.

from Photographers' Blog:

A day on the lobster boat

In waters off Cape Elizabeth, Maine

By Brian Snyder

The instructions were: "Meet my sternman, and friend, Rob at 4:45am at the fish pier in Portland, Maine. From there, you two will catch a ride on another boat out to join me on the Wild Irish Rose, somewhere among the islands off coast."

Lobsterman Steve Train owns the the Wild Irish Rose, and had some engine problems that morning. Rob was running late. But Steve guided me to his brother's boat at a different pier. We picked up Rob and were out to the Wild Irish Rose soon enough.

from Global Investing:

Why Abenomics is leading to a squid shortage in Japan

"Abenomics" -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aggressive reflationary fiscal and monetary policy -- is widely praised for injecting optimism into the world's third largest economy and making Tokyo stocks the best performing equity market in the world this year.

However, in Japan, something odd is happening as a result of Abenomics -- a big shortage of squid.

from Photographers' Blog:

Fishing for fins

Off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada

By Ben Nelms

Last year, Canada became home to the first shark fishery in the world that was labeled with a Marine Stewardship Council certification. This is an internationally recognized certification that lists the B.C Spiny Dogfish Shark industry as ‘certified sustainable seafood.’ The fishery is located in the Pacific waters of Canada, off the coast and around Vancouver Island.

I spent a handful of nights on a commercial fishing boat called the Ocean Sunset. We departed from the small village of Ucluelet, which is on the Western shores of Vancouver Island. The only thing I forgot on land was my sea legs.

from Photographers' Blog:

The fisherman at Lake Koenigssee

Smoking like 400 years ago...

By Michael Dalder

After eighty-four successive days without catching a fish, the old man Santiago tells his young friend Manolin that he will go “far out” into the ocean. And there, a huge marlin takes his bait but Santiago is physically unable to reel him in. Nevertheless, Santiago refuses to let him go, so this leads to a three-day struggle between the fisherman and the fish.

This famous scene of Ernest Hemingway's novella "The Old Man and the Sea" was in my mind when I first contacted the Bavarian fisherman Thomas Amort from Lake Koenigssee.

from Photographers' Blog:

The king of the Amazon

By Bruno Kelly

It was a dream come true for me to accompany the men who fish the pirarucu, South America’s largest freshwater fish. It was even more so to do it in the region of the Juruá River, one of the most inhospitable, winding and virgin rivers in the Amazon Basin.

The pirarucu, also known as the arapaima, is considered a living fossil. The adventure to fish them began from our departure from Manaus in an amphibious plane able to set down on dry land or water, called a Grand Caravan. Our pilot assured us that this is one of the few light aircraft certified to transport the president of the United States, and that left us much less nervous since we were heading into a region with nothing more than jungle and rivers below us.

from Photographers' Blog:

Fishing to survive in Cité Soleil

By Swoan Parker

“I’m living in a bad place and didn’t want to get involved in any bad things”, is what 27-year-old Wilkens Sinar told me. His neighborhood, Cité Soleil, is one of the poorest and most dangerous slums in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and just 500 miles from the United States. This densely populated area located near the capital of Port-au-Prince houses families who mostly migrated from the countryside in search of work. Unable to afford the rents in most of the capital, they have no other choice but to settle here where powerful gangs operate rampantly.

As I walked through the endless maze of shanty homes built of pieces of concrete or junk metal latched together, the smell of raw sewage permeated the air. I found myself at the seacoast where small boats were docked and fishermen were either setting off or returning with their catch of mostly small crabs and fish.

from Photographers' Blog:

A fisherman’s sad tale

By Yuriko Nakao

Seaweed grower Takaaki Watanabe took to the sea in his boat before the massive tsunami roared into the northeastern Japanese town of Minamisanriku, becoming one of a lucky few to save the vessel essential for their livelihood.

But back on shore the raging waters of March 11 swept away his wife, his mother and his house, built on land in his family for 13 generations, though his three teenaged daughters managed to survive.

from Environment Forum:

Brad Pitt, Matt Damon give krill a star turn

There are no small parts, only small actors, or so the old show-biz saying goes. Now there are big stars -- Matt Damon and Brad Pitt -- playing two of the smallest parts ever. In a far cry from "Ocean's Eleven" (and 12 and 13) they're lending their voices to a pair of krill, small shrimp-like creatures that form the base of the Antarctic food web.

Pitt and Damon play Will and Bill, the krill, in "Happy Feet Two," the sequel to the 2006 dancing-penguins animated feature. Both films have conservation themes. The latest movie  opens  in mid-November.

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