Fishupdate Briefing

THE British may love their fish and chips, but they are being urged not toe share that pleasure with wild birds. Wildlife expert has warned that eider ducks and other birds  on the Northumberland Coast are being harmed by people throwing bits of fish and chips at them. Chris Watson, who has worked with Sir David Attenborough as a nature sound recordist, said that while the birds may enjoy the food, it damages their eggs because it lacks calcium. He told the BBC that it is better that wild birds stick to natural calcium rich shellfish which they find themselves.

THERE appears to be no end in sight for BP’s Gulf oil spill woes as a federal judge in New Orleans ordered a second payment of some $500-million in compensation  to seafood workers in the region. BP had contested the claims which were earlier rejected by a district judge. So far the oil giant has paid out almost $1-billion  through a $2.3 billion Seafood Compensation Fund following an agreed settlement for fishermen and seafood workers two years ago. However, the eventual bill is likely to be much higher.  In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon rig hired by BP exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 platform workers and seriously polluting the Gulf’s rich fishing grounds.

A retired headmaster said he has been put off fish after discovering a “flesh-eating louse” in a sea bass bought  at a supermarket. . Paul Poli from Swansea in Wales was preparing to enjoy his sea bass  supper when he spotted the yellow parasitic crustacean on the fish. The parasite –  officially called cymothoa exigua  but commonly known as the tongue-eating louse – feeds itself by eating a fish’s tongue, attaching itself to the stub and acting as a tongue for the fish – taking some of the food for itself. Morrisons, who sold the fish, have apologised to Mr Poli and given him a bottle of wine and a £20 voucher, but point out some fish occasionally pick up parasites from the marine eco system. They are normally screened out by fishmongers during processing, but occasionally one gets through. They said Mr Poli was sold unfilleted fish at his own request.

THE Icelandic fishing company HB Grandi has just signed a contract for a new 1,440 square metre extension to its Reykjavik fish processing plant and 260 square metre facility for waste handling and storing fishing gear. chief executive Vilhjalmur Vihljalmsson said the project should be completed by the middle of next year and will bring all of the company’s activities in Reykjavik into a single location.

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