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Bycatch occurs when fishermen hook or trap sea life other than their targeted catch. This is among the most problematic aspects of modern fishing. It occurs at every level of underwater life, from the ocean surface where it threatens seabirds, sea mammals, sharks and other marine life, to the ocean floor where bottom trawling damages vulnerable deep-water ecosystems. The 27 million metric tons of bycatch that are swept away and discarded annually include many fish species, but also small whales, dolphins and porpoises that are caught in fishing nets, and endangered loggerhead turtles caught on longlines. Billions of corals, sponges, and starfish in reef ecosystems are among the scores of other species affected.


A lack of management oversight, government regulations, and traceability of fishing activities has long been a problem in the fishing industry. Current rules and regulations are not strong enough to limit fishing capacity to a sustainable level. This is particularly the case for the high seas, where there are few international fishing regulations, and those that exist are not always implemented or enforced. Many fisheries management bodies are not able to adequately incorporate scientific advice on fish quotas, and customs agencies and retailers cannot always ensure that the fish entering their country is caught legally and in a sustainable way.

On August 27, an angler caught a northern snakehead from Reservoir Pond in Canton. After obtaining and analyzing the specimen, MassWildlife confirmed this fish was a snakehead, an invasive species in Massachusetts. This fish was most likely released by a pet owner when it grew too large for its aquarium. Possession and liberation of snakeheads are both illegal in Massachusetts. Transferring exotic fish into local waterways can cause a host of problems, including competition with native species and spread of disease.

This recent catch is the fifth confirmed snakehead documented in Massachusetts since 2002. All snakeheads found in Massachusetts were adults, and MassWildlife has found no evidence of reproduction at any of the locations where the snakeheads were caught. During its routine fisheries sampling work, MassWildlife has visited over 7,900 locations statewide, documenting over 950,000 fish records since 1998 and has not captured any other snakeheads.

Massachusetts anglers have played an important role in reporting snakeheads and other non-native species like piranha, pacu, and other escapees of the aquarium trade and illegal exotic introductions. Snakeheads will go after bait and lures, and with nearly 200,000 anglers out on the water, the fact that so few have been caught in the Commonwealth is reassuring.

Anglers may confuse snakeheads with other native species like bowfin (see image below for identification details). Anyone who captures a fish that can be confidently identified as a snakehead should keep the fish, kill it, and report it to MassWildlife by emailing or calling (508) 389-6300. MassWildlife encourages anglers who are less certain about the species of fish they have caught to send photos showing various angles of the fish. Under no circumstance should a suspected snakehead be transported to another location until identification is confirmed.

A caught stealing occurs when a runner attempts to steal but is tagged out before reaching second base, third base or home plate. This typically happens after a pitch, when a catcher throws the ball to the fielder at the base before the runner reaches it. But it can also happen before a pitch, typically when a pitcher throws the ball to first base for a pickoff attempt but the batter has already left for second.

Many different factors go into a caught stealing. Namely: a pitcher's quick release to home plate, a catcher's quick transfer and throw, a good tag by the fielder receiving the ball and a poor jump -- or slow first step -- by the baserunner.

If a runner is thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch or a passed ball, this does not count as a caught stealing. Similarly, a runner who is picked off while diving back to a base has not been "caught stealing" because he never attempted to steal in the first place. If a batter steals a base safely but is tagged when he comes off the base before fully gaining his balance, it still counts as a caught stealing, because he was never established on the base.

When a catcher gets an assist on a caught stealing, he is awarded a catcher caught stealing (CCS). He is also awarded a CCS if the recipient drops his throw for an error and the official scorer judges that the runner would have been out had the ball been caught. However, when a runner is thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch or a passed ball, a catcher caught stealing is not awarded.

Its senses in early Middle English also included "to chase, hunt," which later went with chase (v.). Of sleep, etc., from early 14c.; of infections from 1540s; of fire from 1734 (compare Greek aptō "fasten, join, attach, grasp, touch," also "light, kindle, set on fire, catch on fire"). Related: Catched (obsolete); catching; caught.

Many fish, including the most popular store-bought fish and shellfish, are safe to eat. Some, however, contain chemicals (such as methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and various types of pesticides) that may harm children and adults. The Maryland Department of the Environment monitors and evaluates contamination levels in fish, shellfish, and crabs throughout Maryland and issues guidelines for recreationally caught fish (see our most recent guidelines). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues nationwide guidance for commercial fish (fish bought in stores and restaurants). In March 2004, the FDA together with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the following national guidelines for women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children: 041b061a72


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