Sushi parasite that embeds in the stomach is on the rise, doctors warn

Eating raw fish can lead to anisakiasis, a disease caused by parasitic worms.

Sushi has a healthy reputation – it can be low fat and high in protein – but a new report serves as a stark reminder that sushi made with raw fish can carry a dangerous parasite. Doctors warn that it’s becoming a greater problem in Western countries as more people eat sushi, and they documented one recent case that serves as a cautionary tale.

The case of a previously healthy 32-year-old man from Lisbon, Portugal, is featured in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports this week. The man was suffering from a bout of stomach pain for more than a week, and experienced vomiting and a fever.

When doctors questioned him about his symptoms and history, he revealed that he had recently eaten sushi.

Doctors performed an endoscopy – a scope test that uses a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube to view the upper digestive system – and discovered he had parasite larvae attached to the lining of his stomach wall.

The culprit: Anisakiasis, a disease caused by parasitic worms.

“It is caused by the consumption of contaminated raw or undercooked fish or seafood,” the authors wrote in their case study.

Photos published with their account of the case show a worm “firmly attached” inside the man’s stomach.

Surgeons used a special device, called a Roth net, to remove the parasite, and the man’s symptoms resolved.

Most cases of the parasite have previously occurred in Japan, but the disease has been increasingly recognized as a problem in the West, the authors wrote.

Patients can have other symptoms too, including nausea, digestive bleeding, bowel obstruction, inflammation of the abdomen and allergic symptoms including itching and anaphalaxis, a severe and life-threatening reaction, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Daniel Eiras, assistant professor of infectious diseases at NYU Langone Medical Center, told CBS News that it’s pretty rare to see cases in the U.S. He’s only seen one case about two years ago, in a 45-year-old man.

“He was having reflux and severe abdominal pain. They thought he had a mass in his belly, cancer in his small intestine, so they took out the mass and looked at it under the microscope and it was one of these worms,” said Eiras.

Cases of anisakiasis are probably widely underreported, though, he said, because primary care doctors and pharmacists, the first health care professionals an infected person might consult with, typically aren’t aware of or looking for this type of parasite.

“We don’t do endoscopies on every person with stomach complaints, so we don’t know. Presumably there are many people who get anisakiasis and it gets sloughed out of their digestive system. It doesn’t lay eggs or continuously infect the intestine,” Eiras said.

So, only cases where the parasite actually embeds in the stomach or intestine wall may actually come to light, he explained.

The parasite can crop up in raw or undercooked seafood such as cod, fluke, haddock and monk fish.

Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and specialist in nutrition and preventive medicine, told CBS News that pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, such as HIV patients or individuals taking biologic drugs, should avoid raw or undercooked fish and seafood. They can carry a risk for other illnesses, too.

Two years ago, a salmonella outbreak was linked to raw tuna.,” said Hensrud, the author of the Mayo Clinic Diet book.

Don’t eat raw fish at sketchy restaurants, either, Eiras recommended.

“I would not go to a restaurant with a ‘C’ rating in New York largely for this reason. It’s a big red flag when a sushi restaurant can’t maintain an ‘A’ rating, because one of the main things they get rated on is refrigeration. They’re not cooking the fish so that is the only prevention method, keeping it cold,” he said.

The same goes for eating ceviche — a dish made from raw fish and cured in lemon or lime juice — and poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad that’s increasingly popping up on menus.

When preparing fish at home, cook seafood to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends. The FDA says freezing fish can kill parasites, too.

Moratorium on cownose ray fishing contests passed by Maryland General Assembly

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – (AP) – A moratorium on fishing for cownose rays has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The legislature voted Wednesday to send the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan.

It creates a moratorium on contests that involve killing the rays until July 1, 2019. It also requires the Department of Natural Resources to prepare a fisheries management plan by Dec. 31, 2018.

The Humane Society of the United States has condemned the contests. The organization is calling the bill a major step in protecting Chesapeake Bay wildlife.

Legislation initially called for a ban. The moratorium was part of a compromise. Opponents of a permanent ban say the rays have been identified as damaging to bay oyster populations, but supporters say science has shown the rays are not responsible for oyster declines.

Humpback whale “anchored” by fishing gear rescued off Boston

Read more at http://www.grindtv.com/wildlife/humpback-whale-anchored-fishing-gear-rescued-off-boston/#1XMtfstShYiBILVH.99

A juvenile humpback whale that had become “anchored” to the sea floor by fishing ropes has been rescued off the Boston area.

Ropes attached to submerged fishing traps were wrapped around the base of the whale’s fluke, or tail. While the mammal could surface to breathe, it struggled to swim.

The whale had been in this perilous situation since at least last Thursday, when it was discovered by commercial fishermen. “The whale had likely been anchored by its entanglement for the better part of a week,” the Center for Coastal Studies said in a statement posted Monday.

Rough weather hampered the rescue effort until the weekend, but on Sunday a team involving the CCS, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and U.S. Coast Guard completed a successful disentanglement.

RELATED: Humpback whale calf isn’t about to let stranded mom die; video

Rescue work was performed from an inflatable vessel. The team used a hook-shaped knife attached to a 30-foot pole to remove ropes from the whale’s injured fluke

After the 30-foot whale was freed, the team followed the cetacean for two hours and reported, “While the prognosis for the whale is now much better, it will take time for it to heal.”

Last week off Northern California, commercial fishermen took matters into their own hands and cut loose a humpback whale that had become badly entangled in crab-fishing gear.
Read more at http://www.grindtv.com/wildlife/humpback-whale-anchored-fishing-gear-rescued-off-boston/#1XMtfstShYiBILVH.99

World’s Biggest Sockeye Run Shut Down as Wild Pacific Salmon Fight for Survival

     Climate

 Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least 7 million years, as indicated by fossils of large saber-tooth salmon found in the area. During that time, they’ve been a key species in intricate, interconnected coastal ecosystems, bringing nitrogen and other nutrients from the ocean and up streams and rivers to spawning grounds, feeding whales, bears and eagles and fertilizing the magnificent coastal rainforests along the way.

Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least seven million years.iStockFor as long as people have lived in the area, salmon have been an important food source and have helped shape cultural identities. But something is happening to Pacific coast salmon.

This year, British Columbia’s sockeye salmon run was the lowest in recorded history. Commercial and First Nations fisheries on the world’s biggest sockeye run on British Columbia’s longest river, the Fraser, closed. Fewer than 900,000 sockeye out of a projected 2.2 million returned to the Fraser to spawn. Areas once teeming with salmon are all but empty.

Salmon define West Coast communities, especially Indigenous ones. The West Coast is a Pacific salmon forest. Today, salmon provide food and contribute to sustainable economies built on fishing and ecotourism. West Coast children learn about the salmon life cycle early in their studies.

Salmon migrations, stretching up to 3,000 kilometers, are among the world’s most awe-inspiring. After spending adult lives in the ocean, salmon make the arduous trip up rivers against the current, returning to spawn and die where they hatched. Only one out of every thousand salmon manages to survive and return to its freshwater birthplace.

So what’s going wrong? Climate change is amplifying a long list of stressors salmon already face. Sockeye salmon are sensitive to temperature changes, so higher ocean and river temperatures can have serious impacts. Even small degrees of warming can kill them. Low river flows from unusually small snowpacks linked to climate change make a tough journey even harder.

Oceans absorb the brunt of our climate pollution—more than 90 percent of emissions-trapped heat since the 1970s. Most warming takes place near the surface, where salmon travel, with the upper 75 meters warming 0.11 C per decade between 1971 and 2010. Although ocean temperatures have always fluctuated, climate change is lengthening those fluctuations. A giant mass of warmer-than-average water in the Pacific, known as “the blob,” made ocean conditions even warmer, with El Niño adding to increased temperatures. Salmon have less food and face new predators migrating north to beat the heat.

Beyond creating poor environmental conditions for salmon, climate change increases disease risks. Warm conditions have led to sea lice outbreaks in farmed and wild salmon, and a heart and muscle inflammatory disease has been found in at least one farm. Scientists researching salmon movement through areas with farms are finding wild fish, especially young ones, with elevated parasite levels. Diseases that cause even slight deficiencies in swimming speed or feeding ability could make these marathon swimmers easy prey.

More: http://www.ecowatch.com/wild-salmon-climate-change-2011395747.html

UK to ban fishing from a million square kilometres of ocean

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/15/uk-to-ban-fishing-from-a-million-square-kilometres-of-ocean

Government creates marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, with commercial fishing banned in some areas
One of the world’s biggest marine protected ares will be created around the Pitcairn Islands

Adam Vaughan
Thursday 15 September 2016 06.

In total, the government is creating marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, including the designation this week of one of the world’s biggest around the Pitcairn Islands.

A 840,000 sq km (320,000 sq mile) area around Pitcairn, where the mutineers of the Bounty settled, becomes a no-take zone for any fishing from this week. St Helena, around 445,000 sq km of the south Atlantic ocean and home to whale sharks and humpbacks, is now also designated as a protected area.

The foreign office said it would designate two further marine protection zones, one each around two south Altantic islands – Ascension by 2019 and Tristan da Cunha by 2020.
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Sir Alan Duncan, minister of state for Europe and the Americas, said: “Protecting 4m sq km of ocean is a fantastic achievement, converting our historic legacy into modern environmental success.”

Commercial fishing will be banned in all of Pitcairn’s zone – excepting ‘sustainable’ local fishing – and half of the 445,390 sq km Ascension protected area. Fishing will be allowed in the other areas, but activities such as oil drilling will be prohibited.

Conservationists welcomed the new protections. “By protecting the vast array of marine life within these rich waters, the United Kingdom has solidified its position as a leader in ocean conservation,” said Joshua S Reichert, of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which is working with the UK on technology to monitor the Pitcairn area.

Jonathan Hall, the RSPB’s head of UK Overseas Territories, said: “This is simply enormous and shows world-leading vision.”

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The UK announcement, at the Our Oceans summit in Washington, came as the White House said the US would ban fishing in a 5,000 sq km area in the Altantic, known as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts marine national monument. That followed Barack Obama’s expansion last month of the Papahānaumokuākea monument off Hawaii.

In his speech at the Washington conference, Duncan quipped: “this was going to have been my big moment, because until last week the Pitcairn MPA would have been the largest in the world. But President Obama sort of rather blew that out of the water by announcing an even bigger MPA in Hawaii – trust the Yanks to indulge in a bit of one-upmanship over us poor Brits.

“But we’re happy as our loss is the world’s gain and we congratulate the United States.”

This week, scientists warned that humanity is driving an unprecedented extinction of the largest marine creatures that could affect ocean ecology for millions of years. Experts said the large range required for such creatures meant large-scale marine protected areas would be a key part of addressing the problem.

Gruesome photos of entangled whale show need for reporting, DFO says

Rescuers say a humpback whale entangled off the coast of Bella Bella was one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen.

Gord Kurbis, Comox Valley Videographer

Tuesday, September 14, 2016 4:15PM PDT

Warning: Some of the images in this story are graphic.

Rescuers have come to the aid of yet another humpback whale entangled in debris left in B.C. water, and photos show it’s one of the most severe cases yet.

Photos taken by a wildlife tour guide show the humpback completely wrapped up in ropes and in need of desperate assistance.

“This animal was definitely in major distress, and just with the ropes, the tight tension, that were wrapping around the animal and seeing the skin and the abrasions and the bleedings, it was awful to see,” said Paul Cottrell of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“This animal definitely couldn’t have survived too long under that kind of tension.”

Experts say the whale may have already been entangled in debris when it got snagged on an anchor line at an empty Marine Harvest fish farm near Bella Bella.

“There was a rope through the animal’s mouth and wrapped around the head,” said Cottrell.

The whale was tangled up at the farm for hours when help finally arrived and freed it. Photos show multiple bloody abrasions on its body and a thick rope wrapped around its head.

entangled whale bella bella keyed version

Photos show the damage done to a humpback whale that became entangled in debris off the Bella Bella coast. Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo courtesy Philip Charles)

“This if the first time this has ever happened to us,” said Marine Harvest spokesman Ian Roberts. “So we’ll review the situation and see how our anchor lines may have contributed to this event, and if we need to make changes to our farms, we’ll make them across all our farms if that’s needed.”

Marine educators say it appears a staggering 47 per cent of humpbacks in B.C. waters have been entangled at one time or another.

They also say the two most important messages to get out after the most recent incident is making sure the public knows to report entanglements to the marine mammal hotline – and to not attempt a rescue themselves.

“If we get the call and we can get there, our success rate is huge,” said Cottrell. “It’s all about the 1-800 number, and not having people engage with the animal and trying to cut gear off, because that’s made situations worse in the past.”

The DFO believes the freed whale will stay in the general area for the foreseeable future and said staff will monitor the animal’s recovery and health over the next several weeks.

In June following another whale entanglement, Cottrell said he’s seen an increase in entanglements in recent months, but that could be because of increased reporting.

Anyone who sees an entangled marine mammal is asked to report it to the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-465-4336.

entangled whale bella bella keyed

An anchor line became wrapped around the head of a humpback whale off the Bella Bella coast. Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo courtesy Philip Charles)

http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/gruesome-photos-of-entangled-whale-show-need-for-reporting-dfo-says-1.3070951#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=twitter&_gsc=UcDHBUU

Thousands of cormorants abandon their nests

By Cassandra Profita

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Published on May 20, 2016 11:33AM

Last changed on May 23, 2016 10:03AM

A month-old double-crested cormorant at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.

Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian

A month-old double-crested cormorant at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.

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A double-crested cormorant rests atop of nest of eggs in the colony on East Sand Island.

The Daily Astorian/File Photo

A double-crested cormorant rests atop of nest of eggs in the colony on East Sand Island.

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Officials say thousands of cormorants abandoned their nests on East Sand Island in the Columbia River and they don’t know why. Reports indicate as many as 16,000 adult birds in the colony left their eggs behind to be eaten by predators including eagles, seagulls and crows.

The birds’ mysterious departure comes after the latest wave of government-sanctioned cormorant shooting. It’s part of a campaign to reduce the population of birds that are eating imperiled Columbia River salmon.

Amy Echols, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the contractors who monitor the birds for the Corps reported May 16 that the East Sand Island colony had been significantly disturbed.

“The disturbance resulted in nest abandonment and the loss of all the cormorants’ eggs by avian predators like seagulls, eagles and crows,” she said. “We don’t know yet what the cause of the disturbance was.”

Officials didn’t see any evidence of a coyote or any other four-legged predator, but they did see 16 bald eagles on the island.

“Bald eagles are known to significantly startle and disperse nesting colonies,” Echols said. “We don’t know if that magnitude of bald eagles could have done this.”
Eagles may not be responsible
Bald eagles have been blamed for decimating Caspian tern and cormorant colonies on the island in the past. But Dan Roby, a researcher with Oregon State University who has studied the tern and cormorant colonies for decades, said he doesn’t think eagles could have flushed so many cormorants off their nests.

“I’m pretty confident that’s not what caused the cormorants to abandon the colony,” he said. “We’ve seen that number of eagles out there before. We’ve seen them killing cormorants on their nests, and it doesn’t cause that kind of abandonment.”

Roby said researchers on his team did an aerial survey of the island on Tuesday and saw a large group of cormorants on another part of the island. But the nesting area was completely abandoned.

“There were absolutely no cormorants anywhere in the colony,” he said. “It’s a real mystery for us. It actually amazes me that any kind of disturbance — even people going on the island if that’s what happened — could cause all the birds to leave their nests with eggs and then gather on the shoreline as if they were afraid to go back to their nests. It’s certainly unprecedented in all the years we were out there working on that cormorant colony.”
Biologists investigating
Echols said about 4,000 birds have returned to the island, but not the nesting area. A team of biologists is investigating what caused the birds to flee their nests.

Federal agents have been shooting cormorants in the area and oiling cormorant eggs on the island as part of a long-term plan to shrink the cormorant colony and reduce how many threatened and endangered salmon the birds are eating. They reported killing 209 cormorants between May 12 and Wednesday.

Officials haven’t attributed the disturbance of the cormorant colony to any shooting or egg oiling activity. Echols said the last time the agents were oiling eggs on the island was May 11. Agents were on the water shooting cormorants on May 16, she said, but they have now stopped all culling activities because the number of cormorants in the colony has dropped below the level where they’re required to stop.
Vocal critic
Bob Sallinger with the Portland Audubon Society has been a vocal critic of the Corps’ cormorant management plan. He said colony failure has been one of his chief concerns as federal agencies shrink the size of the cormorant population.

“When you do that, you make a population extremely vulnerable,” he said. “Regardless of whether this abandonment was caused by eagles or their own activities, the fact is they’ve gone in there and deliberately decimated the population. Federal agencies have deliberately put the western population of cormorants at direct risk, and it needs to stop.”

Echols said federal officials are monitoring the Columbia River estuary to see where all the cormorants have gone.

Roby said it’s still early enough in their breeding season that the birds could still return to their nests and lay more eggs to avoid complete colony failure for the year.

Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean – High Seas Pursuit Now Underway. .

– High Seas Pursuit Now Underway.

The Sea Shepherd ship, under the command of Captain Siddharth Chakravarty, has now engaged in a pursuit of on…Show more

Sea Shepherd Global - Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean preview image

Sea Shepherd Global – Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean

High Seas Pursuit Now Underway The Fu Yuan Yu 076, currently on the run from the Steve Irwin. Photo: Tim Watters Sea Shepherd’s

 

Video: Sea Shepherd Saved a Life Today‏

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE
From Captain Oona Layolle

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Dear Friends,

While patrolling the vaquita refuge for illegal gillnets this weekend, we discovered a humpback whale hopelessly entangled in a gillnet. We knew that it was a race against time to save this exhausted humpback. Our crew jumped into action to rescue the whale from drowning and I notified the Mexican Navy and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA).

Since mid-January, the crews of the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat have worked tirelessly to find illegal gillnets and remove them from the Vaquita Refuge in the Gulf of California. Removing gillnets is vital to the survival of both the vaquita and the totoaba bass.

Gillnets are nets of death, trapping any marine life that comes into contact with them. The crew of both vessels have worked to develop net retrieval devices that uncover the sunken gillnets. Search teams from the ships, drag the net retrieval devices in search patterns to find nets daily. Once a net is located by the search teams, I notify the Mexican Navy so that we can remove the nets and the Navy can seize the illegal fishing gear.

With your continued support, the life-saving work of our crews, and our continued partnership with the Mexican Navy, we can save the vaquita from the brink of extinction.

For the oceans,

Captain Oona Layolle

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WATCH THE COMPELLING VIDEO
Sea Shepherd Saves Humpback Whale

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READ CAPTAIN OONA’S FULL REPORT
Learn More About the Rescue

Marine experts seek answers in death of humpback whale

A whale washed up Sunday evening on the beach in Seaside. — Kyle Spurr/The Daily Astorian

 

SEASIDE — The dead 24-foot humpback whale that washed ashore on the north end of Seaside’s beach Sunday caused quite a stir.

A couple of dozen onlookers stopped to watch Tuesday as a team of marine experts from Portland State University and Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network volunteers performed a necropsy on the animal, which had been moved slightly inland and north on the beach. Some came to town specifically to see the whale.

The team collected biological samples that will be used to help determine a cause of death. If there are no “smoking guns,” such as bullet holes or something stuck in the mammal’s throat, then it can take days or weeks to determine a cause of death, said Keith Chandler, the general manager of Seaside Aquarium.

It was clear the animal did not die from old age, as it was only about a year old, Chandler said. He said it is not unusual to see a whale wash ashore on the North Coast, but they tend to be gray whales. Humpbacks are rare — Chandler said he has only see a few in his 20 years with the stranding network — but the species was spotted in nearby waters recently.

“There were a few humpbacks hanging out in the mouth of the Columbia River last year,” he said. “They are usually further offshore. It could have died offshore and with the storm, washed in.”

The whale was one of at least five cetaceans to wash up in the area in three days. A harbor porpoise and two striped dolphins were found Saturday. One dolphin was found in Cannon Beach and the other in Ocean Park, Washington. A third striped dolphin washed ashore in Seaside Monday. Chandler said it is “quite unusual to get them all together,” especially the striped dolphins.

The Ocean Park dolphin showed signs of being entangled in a net and had a hole in its tail that appeared to be from a gaff, Chandler said. The dolphin from Seaside had a similar hole in the same area, but it had not undergone a necropsy by Tuesday. Chandler said it could be a single event — getting caught in the net — that caused the unusual occurrence of killing multiple dolphins at once. If a single event is the cause of death, Chandler said, then “we know it’s just an accident,” as opposed to persistent conditions impacting a species, like disease.

City crews planned to bury the whale at the beach by Wednesday morning.

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20160203/marine-experts-seek-answers-in-death-of-humpback-whale?utm_source=Daily+Astorian+Updates&utm_campaign=b5c32b3710-TEMPLATE_Daily_Astorian_Newsletter_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e787c9ed3c-b5c32b3710-109860249