New England Fisheries

Commonwealth Loses Lawsuit on Lower Catch Limits

Attorney General Martha Coakley announces her lawsuit last May on the Boston Fish Pier.

With a court decision released on April 8 which denied the Commonwealth’s claims, Coakley’s lawsuit has run its predicted course. It’s time to recognize that we need real solutions such as stopping overfishing, protecting habitat, reducing bycatch and improving ocean management.

In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 11

New research suggests over 20% of seafood imported by the US is caught illegally. Photo credit: NOAA

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, a slew of legal decisions on groundfish regulations; new research suggests more than 20% of seafood imported into the US is caught illegally; the Senate ratifies treaties to cut down on pirate fishing; environmental groups sue to expand protected habitat for right whales; ecosystem-based management could help respond to climate change; GMRI and the Bigelow Lab compete for funding for real-time monitoring; scallop fisheries in Maine and Nantucket Bay have a strong year; recovering alewife populations may mean a new fishery, too; Maine’s elver season begins with new regulations; an effort to clean up ghost gear is successful.


Is NOAA studying river herring to death?

Habitat destruction in rivers and overfishing at sea have pushed many populations of river herring to historic lows. (Photo credit: Mike Laptew)

If you’ve been following the (mis)management of river herring over the last few years, you may not even be surprised at the latest shenanigans of the NOAA fisheries officials: a delay tactic in the form of a “working group.” This powerless, unmanageably large, and unfairly stacked “Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG)” is purportedly meant to comprehensively address the multifaceted problems facing river herring. But it looks more like an effort to study these little fish to death, instead of taking meaningful action to bring them back from the brink.

New England Fisheries

Court Issues Decisions on NOAA’s Fishing Rules

Judge James Boasberg issued two decisions on NOAA groundfish rules on Friday. Image: DC District Court

On Friday, the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC issued a pair of rulings concerning NOAA’s proposals for allowing new fishing in long standing protected areas and increasing catch levels above legal limits. The rulings were in response to challenges brought by Conservation Law Foundation with Earthjustice.

In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 4

The IPCC released a new report on climate change impacts and adaptation this week. Image: IPCC

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the IPCC releases a new report on climate change, including marine impacts; NOAA is seeking comments on developing its own sustainable seafood certification; Maine’s DMR warns lobster fishermen to prepare for a decline in landings; dogfish are abundant in the Gulf of Maine, but there’s no market for them; alleged culprits in last summer’s Cape Cod oyster thefts appear in court; the Large Pelagics Research Center hosts a series of talks in April; NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory may close; a Maine elver fisherman pleads guilty to underreporting his $700,000 income.

Ask An Expert interviews fishermen, chefs, retailers, policymakers and others who are involved in managing, catching and preparing New England’s fish. Read these interviews to learn more about perspectives on sustainable seafood in the New England region, and let us know who you’d like to see interviewed next!

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Recent Comments

    11:25 am, April 15, 2014
    karl day says:

    mr crockett next week I'll be going to the nefmc meeting in Conn.As an active hand gear b fisherman and recreational fisherman for the last 46 yrs I'm well aware of the dismal condition of the cod stocks.I might add that the pollock stocks also are fading.We have seen far fewer large pollock and far fewer

    More from The Bottom Line: Rebuilding Plans Work for U.S. Fisheries

    1:29 pm, April 11, 2014
    David Showell says:

    In NJ there have been dams for 100s of years and farmers have been using them for fertilizer as much as possible since the days of the American Indians. Now there are a few Striped bass fishermen that would like to use some for bait, but the stocks have absolutely crashed since pair trawlers

    More from Is NOAA studying river herring to death?

    9:36 am, March 31, 2014
    Peter Shelley (CLF) says:

    Thanks, B.A., I wasn’t trying to put any fishery or management system up on a pedestal, particularly a Canadian ITQ fishery.

    More from Why can’t the US be more like the Canadians?