In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Massachusetts DMF is challenging new regulations on lobstering; NOAA’s science was attacked at a Gloucester public forum; NEFMC’s next meeting is next week; NEFSC issued a new report on Northeast groundfish economic performance; researchers continue to study gray seal pups in Massachusetts; Cape Cod fishermen suggested seal control measures; Maine wild mussel populations are declining; restaurants are trying to change people’s opinions towards “trash fish”; CEI developed web tools to integrate Maine seafood with local food systems; GMRI sponsored an education program workshop for local fishermen; a new blog describes the importance of deep sea corals; NMFS announced a public comment period for its new bycatch reporting methodology; NMFS proposed new rules for managing Atlantic shark fishing; and a new surveillance system to track illegal fishing was developed.
Comments submitted in December by the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund (GFCPF) in connection with NOAA’s emergency action on Gulf of Maine cod were recently reported in The Gloucester Times. GFCPF proposed trading cod quota for redfish, pollock and haddock access, utilizing sector-based quota-trading approaches to avoid hitting the lowered cod quota.
For the past six years I’ve fished for striped bass a few days each fall off Montauk, Long Island, with charter boat Capt. John McMurray, a fellow Coast Guard veteran who is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which sets fishing policies in federal waters from New York to North Carolina. In the past, McMurray and I caught so many big bass on light tackle—a lightweight rod, reel, and line—that we lost count and returned to the dock exhausted. But in the last couple of years, unfortunately, it’s gotten harder to spot the fish. And on our most recent trip, we could hardly find any. I caught only one.
In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, two studies debated the health of our oceans and marine life; Gloucester fishermen are seeking a trade deal with NOAA; Commonwealth magazine interviewed John Bullard; lobstermen are extending their season; Gulf of Maine water temperatures were unusually high this fall; Maine fishermen favor reduced striped bass catch; Massachusetts issued the 2015 ocean plan; a Cape Cod town orders boat captains to stop clam dredging; MAFMC began public hearings for the Deep Sea Corals Amendment; the U.S. government adopted new regulations for seafood imports; ASMFC and NOAA Fisheries is funding two river herring research projects; NOAA Fisheries approved Framework Adjustment 52; NOAA Fisheries file proposed revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act in the federal register; and two NYTimes articles carried news of climate change this week.
On January 5th, Senators Markey and Warren sent a set of questions to Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concerning Atlantic cod. Paraphrasing the Senators’ questions for purposes of space and simplification, here’s how I would answer them