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Thread: new finding on the nutrients in the marine eco-system..

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    Default new finding on the nutrients in the marine eco-system..

    Who would have imagined that fish p00p/peee was so important in the marine eco-system?

    While the study was in the tropics, perhaps we have been overlooking another contribution to the salmon that swim up our rivers and die.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1211163545.htm
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Indeed, this process is called 'science'. We learn as we go. I'm absolutely confident that we don't know everything, that we will continue to learn more about the world around us, and many things we think are solid facts today will end up in the dust bin of history someday. Great article!

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    Rookie question, but do salmon defecate much (if at all) once they enter the rivers? They're done feeding by that point, so it would seem that their contribution of waste material would be minimal if not non-existent once they're in fresh water.

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    Default Common sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Rookie question, but do salmon defecate much (if at all) once they enter the rivers? They're done feeding by that point, so it would seem that their contribution of waste material would be minimal if not non-existent once they're in fresh water.
    Would seem a common sense answer . . nothing in, nothing out . . .

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    Wink

    Jut browsed the link.

    Animal crap makes good fertilizer . .


    Who knew?

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    Fish probably aren't pooping much, if at all while in fresh water. But they're certainly still metabolizing (themselves, literally) so they gotta be excreting something...nitrates of some sort, most likely. They're probably purging salts, too...not sure if it's active or simply via osmosis.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    Fish [are] metabolizing (themselves, literally) . . excreting something...
    Rumor has it that all this osmotic metabolization is being directed into the process or reproduction . . .

    Who knew . . .

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    Default learning and science...

    The important thing is to never take anything for granted in our fisheries. When we set on our buns and are content that we know the answer we get into trouble - and sometimes we find out that our knowledge was too wrong too late!

    We have some knowledge about the importance of fish in our nutrient poor rivers but past experience tells us we still have a LOT to learn. Could it be that fish excrement is important in our rivers also - perhaps we have been missing something obvious also? Or maybe in studying fish pee we find something else - we can never stop looking but I just haven't seen evidence of any significant research in our Alaskan river in the past few years. Instead, we seen to be managing our fisheries based on our past assumptions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Indeed, this process is called 'science'. We learn as we go. I'm absolutely confident that we don't know everything, that we will continue to learn more about the world around us, and many things we think are solid facts today will end up in the dust bin of history someday. Great article!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    ................. but I just haven't seen evidence of any significant research in our Alaskan river in the past few years. Instead, we seen to be managing our fisheries based on our past assumptions.
    Have you, perchance, looked through the Mat Su Science and Salmon Symposium site I previously posted somewhere in this never ending maze ...?
    There are folks trying like heck to do all that is possible, but getting an ear is a real challenge these days. I cannot help but think you may come away with a different assessment if you peruse .............

    Dive in:

    http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/MatSuSalmon

    Go thru the presentations, etc.

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    Red face Who knew . . ?

    Good link, good information, Bronco . . thanks. Comforting to know someone is doing significant research that will benefit future management of our fisheries. Much more credible than a bunch of "scientists" trying to figure out whether manure makes good fertilizer. Who knew?

    Farmers have been putting animal manure on their fields for centuries. Why would anyone wonder it might be different in aquatic ecosystems?

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    Salmon will continue to defecate after entering fresh water since they continue to metabolise fat reserves and eventualy protien,which creates waste.

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    TVF understands the point.

    But let me explain. One of the most important scientific "discoveries" in the biology of Pacific salmon over the past 20 years is the importance of marine-derived nutrients. Up until some ground-breaking research in the Great Lakes (of all places....), the contribution of dead salmon to the watershed was completely unrecognized. Now, the importance of these marine-dervied nutrients is a cornerstone of watershed restoration, and it's contribution of the health of watersheds throughout the Pacific Northwest is still under-valued. In part because of the implications to commercial fishing (and to a lesser extent recreational fishing and PU). But that's another story for another day.

    Suffice to say there are important scientific "discoveries" yet to be made about things happening right under our noses. The article reminds us of that.

    To answer Brian's rookie question - Pacific salmon do not actively feed while on their adult migration in freshwater. So nothing in, nothing out. Their contribution comes when they die, and the nutrients from the carcasses feed many other life forms in the watershed - from bacteria to bears.

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    Default good news but...

    I have looked through it and its good to see that some effort is being made on the habitat issues..

    BUT - I note that their 2009 Progress Report is marked "New". That has to make me wonder just how much is really currently being done! I also don't see anything about the poor runs the last couple of years, but maybe I missed that information.

    Any more links about current research efforts in Alaska?



    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    Have you, perchance, looked through the Mat Su Science and Salmon Symposium site I previously posted somewhere in this never ending maze ...?
    There are folks trying like heck to do all that is possible, but getting an ear is a real challenge these days. I cannot help but think you may come away with a different assessment if you peruse .............

    Dive in:

    http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/MatSuSalmon

    Go thru the presentations, etc.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Cool Important discovery . . !

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . One of the most important scientific "discoveries" in the biology of Pacific salmon over the past 20 years is the importance of marine-derived nutrients. Up until some ground-breaking research in the Great Lakes (of all places....), the contribution of dead salmon to the watershed was completely unrecognized. Now, the importance of these marine-dervied nutrients is a cornerstone of watershed restoration, and it's contribution of the health of watersheds throughout the Pacific Northwest is still under-valued. In part because of the implications to commercial fishing (and to a lesser extent recreational fishing and PU). But that's another story for another day.

    Suffice to say there are important scientific "discoveries" yet to be made about things happening right under our noses. . .
    Who would doubt that "important" scientific discoveries lie just over the horizon of human investigation? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

    As does the notion that dead fish "fertilize" the aquatic ecosystem has suddenly been "discovered" by science. Really—who knew? Native Americans knew that and taught the Pilgrims to plant a dead fish with their corn and squash seeds. And now it's been discovered that dead fish fertilize the aquatic environment as well? Amazing!

    So where does this amazing, scientific discovery go from here? Are we to stop harvesting fish, stop pulling carrots, stop whatever for fear we're somehow depriving some ecosystem of vital nutrients? O do we just stop harvesting Pacific salmon since this "important" discovery seems targeted at that species.

    What else are we to infer from the charge that "commercial fishing" is partly responsible for the under-valuing of marine-derived nutrients except that "commercial fishing" is guilty of removing "marine-derived" nutrients from the ocean's ecosystems? What's the logical conclusion to all that? Shut down the world's commercial fisheries? Or just the fisheries that affect our sport-fishing and dip-netting.

    . . . trying to figure out whether this stuff is transparently foolish or foolishly transparent . . .

    Attachment 66305

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I have looked through it and its good to see that some effort is being made on the habitat issues..

    BUT - I note that their 2009 Progress Report is marked "New". That has to make me wonder just how much is really currently being done! I also don't see anything about the poor runs the last couple of years, but maybe I missed that information.

    Any more links about current research efforts in Alaska?
    tv ,

    If you click on the bottom link on the opening page: Mat-Su Basin Salmon Science & Conservation Symposium (You need go to the opening page first - http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/MatSuSalmon - to activate the link above in order for it to work , I believe.) ;
    up will come the pdf. access to all the past (starting 2008) Symposium Booklets as well as links to all the presentations from the years.
    (2012 presentations are not yet posted and downloadable, but will be soon). If you look at the booklets and scroll down , you will see the list of presenters and an abstract (overview) of their topic. Then you can go back to the the link pg. for the actual presentation and download what you are interested in. The files are not too large. Now, one caveat is that presentations are not the same as actually being there and hearing the accompanying talk, but nevertheless valuable and will give you a good idea of what is being done, who is doing it, etc. Not all of the topics will interest everyone.
    And, of course, there are items such as the breakout discussions not on the web.

    Thanks for asking!

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    Smile

    While the "science" of the folks down in the Bahamas still fails to impress me [i.e., fish poop makes good fertilizer] their funding sources fail to impress me even more [i.e., the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with logistical support from Friends of the Environment, Abaco, Bahamas].

    On the other hand, the resources linked by Bronco are entirely impressive, both in their emphasis and in their participation.

    Very good information.

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    Basic science need not be "impressive", Marcus. Much of what was once thought to be obvious has been shown to be not exactly correct in light of rigorous research. While fish excrement's value as a marine nutrient is indeed rather obvious, there is still value in quantifying it in a scientifically rigorous manner. Basic research such as this provides baseline data upon which further research can build. Without that baseline information, more detailed study cannot be done in a verifiable manner. It's all part of the process of science, obvious or not.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post


    So where does this amazing, scientific discovery go from here? Are we to stop harvesting fish, stop pulling carrots, stop whatever for fear we're somehow depriving some ecosystem of vital nutrients? O do we just stop harvesting Pacific salmon since this "important" discovery seems targeted at that species.
    I can't speak to the conclusions that the researchers or the original poster would draw, but to me there are potentially logical conclusions that don't follow what you're getting at there. I think of it along the lines of human nutrition. We know that excess saturated fats can cause coronary artery disease. Likewise, we know that excess alcohol consumption can lead to heart disease or cirrhosis of the liver. That said, the logical conclusion is not to exclude all saturated fats and alcohol, but rather to use them in moderation in such a way that does not compromise one's health. Extending such logic to our fisheries, the reasonable conclusion is that we should exploit fish stocks in a manner that is sustainable. We already do our best to manage fisheries in such a way, but more data is always a good thing. If we learn more about the nutrients that fish provide marine ecosystems, we can in turn better dial in what proportion of various fish stocks are exploitable in a sustainable fashion.

    Such research need not be a source of contention or controversy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Basic science need not be "impressive", Marcus. Much of what was once thought to be obvious has been shown to be not exactly correct in light of rigorous research. While fish excrement's value as a marine nutrient is indeed rather obvious, there is still value in quantifying it in a scientifically rigorous manner. Basic research such as this provides baseline data upon which further research can build. Without that baseline information, more detailed study cannot be done in a verifiable manner. It's all part of the process of science, obvious or not.


    I understand all that, Brian, but thanks anyway.

    Nor did I intend to imply that "basic" science needs to be "impressive" . . sorry for any misunderstanding generated by my personal remarks. All science, basic or not, is really, really impressive. Some, like Bill Clinton, even believe that science describes for us the language in which the deity wrote the cosmos.

    Actually, I was speaking only to the study cited, not to "science" in general and to how the study struck me personally, especially in terms of how the discussion suddenly jumped to Pacific salmon with less than complimentary reference to commercial fishing.


    Gotta admit, still waiting to figure out how baseline quantification of the nutrient value of fish poop in Bahamian reefs relates—in terms of baseline data of course—to salmon in Alaskan rivers . .


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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    . . the logical conclusion [of the Bahamian study] is . . that we should exploit fish stocks in a manner that is sustainable. We already do our best to manage fisheries in such a way, but more data is always a good thing. If we learn more about the nutrients that fish provide marine ecosystems, we can in turn better dial in what proportion of various fish stocks are exploitable in a sustainable fashion.

    Such research need not be a source of contention or controversy.


    You bet. Research itself is rarely if ever the source of contention or controversy except perhaps as to its relative value [e.g., the mating habits of fruit flies, etc.]. Research is, as far as is humanly possible, value-free and objective.

    What can be and usually is "a source of contention or controversy" are the conclusions drawn from research [e.g., that "the importance of . . marine-dervied nutrients is . . under-valued. In part because of the implications to commercial fishing"].

    Really?

    Now that assertion just might be a "source of contention or controversy."

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