Aaron Orlowski

Aaron Orlowski

Contributing Editor

Aaron Orlowski is a West Coast-based freelance journalist who writes about fisheries, food, science, and the environment. Before settling in Portland, Oregon, he worked for newspapers in California, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In his spare time, he attempts to salvage untested recipes in the kitchen.

Published on
October 17, 2019

In a midnight deal this week in Luxembourg, European Union fisheries ministers finalized catch limits for Baltic Sea species – and set some limits that are above the recommended scientific advice.

Eastern Baltic cod and Western Baltic herring are severely depleted and close to collapse, according to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). In May, ICES recommended zero catch for both western Baltic herring and

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Published on
October 17, 2019

New international guidelines are being developed to confront substandard working conditions in the seafood industry by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The FAO is creating the guidelines in response to increased scrutiny on labor violations and human rights abuses in the seafood industry. The guidelines, which were presented at the Conxemar International Congress on Social Sustainability on 30 September,

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Published on
October 15, 2019

Combined commercial shellfish and seaweed aquaculture have significant potential to provide sustainable food and jobs while restoring marine ecosystems in Europe's North Sea, the East China Sea, and Southern California.

A new study published in PLOS ONE finds that every inhabited continent has marine regions well-suited for the kind of shellfish and seaweed aquaculture that benefits both ecosystems and people by filtering polluted waters,

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Published on
October 8, 2019

A group of companies representing multiple levels of the tuna supply chain have joined together to launch a new alliance that will seek to improve tuna sustainability, raise respect for the human rights of fishermen and prevent illegally caught tuna from reaching the market.

The Global Tuna Alliance, which was announced 2 October, is open to retailers, food service companies, suppliers, and brands. It will leverage the power of the supply chain

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Published on
October 1, 2019

Two new fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in Indonesia seek to make significant portions of the country’s valuable tuna and groundfish fisheries, including snapper and grouper, more sustainable. 

The national, industry-led longline tuna FIP was recently announced by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), which has been working on the project for almost a year. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Indonesia’s

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Published on
September 27, 2019

Human-driven climate change has made the oceans hotter and more acidic, depleting them of oxygen and kneecapping their ability to produce life – a trend that will only continue if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising.

A comprehensive new report from the United Nations says that the entire marine food web and the fisheries that depend on it are threatened by climate change, and the only way to limit the severity of the disruption is by

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Published on
September 20, 2019

Vessel location data suggests that more than 1,500 transfers of fish catch may have occurred on the high seas in the western and central Pacific Ocean in 2016 – far more than the 1,000 transshipments that were actually reported. 

Another 700 or more transfers, called transshipments, may have taken place in national waters in the region.  

The dearth of clear information on transshipment in the waters overseen by the Western

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Published on
September 18, 2019

Scientists are tracking a marine heat wave reminiscent of the one that formed in the northeast Pacific from 2014 to 2016, memorably dubbed the Blob. 

Cisco Werner, the chief science advisor for the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s fisheries division, warned of the heat wave at a conference on the ocean’s role in sustainable food supply which took place on 16 September at the University of California,

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Published on
September 5, 2019

A new report commissioned by the advocacy group Our Fish suggests that ending overfishing will help the oceans weather the effects of climate change. 

Overfishing is weakening the oceans' ability to adapt, the report argues. Healthier oceans will better withstand the disturbances wrought be climate change. 

“If you have a system that is already on its knees and then you have another pressure that is hitting it, like climate

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Published on
August 27, 2019

Cheap cameras, low-cost sensors, further-reaching data transmission networks and rapidly improving artificial intelligence algorithms have the potential to both reduce the cost of catch monitoring and increase profitability for fishermen. 

It’s a new world of fishing that the Environmental Defense Fund is pursuing with its Smart Boat Initiative, first announced in March 2019. The initiative aims to benefit both fish and fishermen by

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