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Increased number of Good Fish Guide ratings for squid – the prawn cocktail of the 21st century

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Squid from Japan gets the green light from Marine Conservation Society whilst diners should treat calamari from other fisheries with caution

Where once the prawn cocktail was a staple of the restaurant starter menu, calamari has now become a diner’s favourite.  Baked, fried, popped in a paella, stewed or sautéed, squid has spread its tentacles across the menu of many high street restaurant chains.

Its rise in popularity has led the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to increase the number of squid ratings in the latest version of its sustainable seafood advice – the Good Fish Guide (www.goodfishguide.com)

Calamari or squid? Calamari is squid! It’s an Italian word that’s used when referring to fried squid. It also sounds a bit more appealing!

There’s currently little information for squid fisheries – in the North East Atlantic for instance, squid is classified as a non-pressure stock species and so stock assessments haven’t been carried out. But as more squid is imported and it increases in popularity, MCS says it is responding to rising numbers of queries regarding its sustainability and is now providing additional ratings for some of the more commercial sources.

Squid stocks are thought to be as much affected by environmental pressures as fishing pressure, but fisheries still need to be well managed. Landings of squid worldwide have been increasing in recent years, and MCS says that despite squids’ high growth rates, short lifespan and other favourable fishery characteristics, some precautionary management is needed.

“Japanese flying squid gets a score of a 2 which means it’s on our ‘Fish to Eat’ list’, says Bernadette Clarke, MCS Good Fish Guide Manager. “This is generally due to the highly selective and low impact fishing method known as jigging used in the fishery and the fact that stock assessment has been carried out. There’s also a low vulnerability score for the species, and management measures are applied in the fishery.”

Jigging

A jig is a type of grappling hook, attached to a line, which is manually or mechanically jerked in the water to snag the fish in its body. Jig fishing usually happens at night with the aid of lures or light attraction and can happen on an industrial scale depending on the number and size of boats and/or number of jigs involved.  

“On the other hand we have given both Homboldt or Jumbo squid jigged in the East Central Pacific and Argentine short fin squid, caught by purse seine or by jigging method in waters off Argentina and the Falklands, a 4 which means it’s not as sustainable and should be eaten only very, very occasionally,” says Bernadette Clarke.

“These two species are the most heavily fished squid species in the world and because fisheries occur on the high seas and are accessed by several countries their management is complicated by the occurrence of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Squid also plays an important role in oceanic and coastal food webs and the impact of its large scale removal by industrial fishing is unclear.”

Purse Seine

Purse Seine and pelagic trawling for squid use big nets on an industrial scale. The trawls commonly contain small meshes which capture protected species such as sharks, marine mammals and turtles and small sized and juvenile fish species referred to as “trash fish”.

Squid are caught using light attraction from glow in the dark jigs to high wattage surface lights. It’s still not clear why squid are attracted to the lights, but the light pollution from large-scale industrial squid fisheries is such that the glow from a single fishing fleet can apparently be seen from space.

MCS says its advice is to choose squid from fisheries using low impact methods like small-scale jigging.  “There’s one such fishery in Sennen Cove, Cornwall, where fishermen go out in small punts and fish for squid using jigs,“ says Bernadette Clarke. “Fisheries in UK waters tend to be small, seasonal, and non-targeted and squid is generally taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries for nephrops and other demersal whitefish species.”

Mike Lewis, Group Chief Executive of YO! Sushi says there’s been a marked rise in the popularity of squid: “Over the last few years we have seen squid based dishes like our Spicy Pepper Squid and Spicy Seafood Udon becoming increasingly more popular with higher sales. Due to our positive guest feedback and increased sales we are looking to add more sustainable squid based dishes onto our menu in the New Year.”

MCS says there will be more new ratings for squid fisheries published at the beginning of 2017.

For more from the Marine Conservation Society visit www.mcsuk.org.

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.


For more information please visit:

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Peli proud to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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We know Peli from its popular camera cases, but from discovery to distribution, Peli’s temperature-controlled packaging is now delivering COVID-19 vaccines all over Europe and the Middle East

With the pandemic recovery just underway, COVID-19 vaccines and therapies are rapidly becoming available for use and they must be safely distributed worldwide, within their required temperature range. Peli’s BioThermal™ division is providing temperature-controlled packaging to meet this critical moment, protecting these crucial payloads.

Peli’s innovative cold chain packaging has been trusted for nearly 20 years by pharmaceutical manufacturers to safely ship their life-saving products around the world. To meet the current challenge, they have adapted their existing products to provide deep frozen temperatures when required for the newly developed life sciences materials. Current and new offerings will ensure the cold chain is maintained throughout the vaccine or therapy’s journey, maximising efficacy and patient health.

“We know that pharmaceutical companies are in all phases of the development process for vaccines and therapeutics and working tirelessly to bring safe and effective drug products to market quickly,” said Greg Wheatley, Vice President of Worldwide New Product Development and Engineering at Peli BioThermal. “Our engineering team matched this urgency to ensure they have the correct temperature-controlled packaging to meet them where they’re at in drug development for the pandemic recovery, from discovery to distribution.”

Peli BioThermal’s deep frozen products use phase change material (PCM) and dry ice systems to provide frozen payload protection with durations from 72 hours to 144+ hours. Payload capacities range from 1 to 96 litres for parcel shippers and 140 to 1,686 litres for pallet shippers.

New deep-frozen solutions are ideal for short-term vaccine storage, redirect courier transport of vaccines from freezer farm hubs to immunisation locations and daily vaccine replenishment to remote and rural areas.

Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging is currently being used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, either directly or through global transportation providers, in Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK as well as in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with more countries set to join the list as the pandemic recovery process rolls out.

To learn more about the wide range of deep frozen Peli BioThermal shippers, visit Peli.com and PeliBioThermal.com for more information.

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