In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 25

Gray Seals

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Chatham fishermen criticize plans for the distribution of federal disaster aid to Massachusetts fishermen; WBUR highlights Cape Cod fishermen struggling with the effects of depleted stocks; Massachusetts bans the possession of shark fins; Senator Begich releases a new version of his Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization bill; WGBH discusses the effects of climate change on fisheries; Senator Murkowski introduces legislation to block the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; NEFMC executive director Tom Nies says Oceana’s bycatch report is misleading; growing gray seal populations cause controversy; local lobstermen oppose rules intended to reduce whale entanglements; the Portland Press Herald talks to a lobsterman who has been fishing for 77 years.

Science

Little Fish Reveal the Big Picture on Cod

Atlantic cod. (Photo credit: Joachim Muller)

Why did fishermen see a bounty while scientists in fact called it a bust? Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center say a change in the forage fish, or small prey species, the cod were eating offers an explanation.

In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 18

Beachgoers have noticed an unusual abundance of jellyfish, including the lion's mane jellyfish, off the Maine coast this year. Photo credit: Sean Colin/John Costello/NSF

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the Boston Globe features Cashes Ledge; Maine grapples with its green crab problem; menhaden catch limits may mean higher bait prices; Massachusetts officials describe their plans to distribute federal fisheries disaster aid; the Maine Lobstermen’s Association may be released from a 1958 consent decree; Matt Jacobson is selected as the director of the Maine Lobster Marketing collaborative; Maine’s fishing stories are preserved through an oral history initiative; an abundance of jellyfish requires more research; Maine’s lobster season starts slowly due to a cold winter; Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations executive director Zeke Grader argues for a strong Magnuson-Stevens Act.

National Policy

Building on Success

A juvenile scamp in a deep patch reef.

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fisheries—the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences.Now the House Committee on Natural Resources has advanced a bill to reauthorize and amend the act. Unlike eight years ago, however, this measure lacks significant bipartisan support—and a number of its provisions would undermine key reforms that have proved instrumental in rebuilding depleted U.S. ocean fish populations.

Protecting Ocean Ecosystems

Habitat Protection Works for Now and for the Future

Fish swim through the kelp forest on Cashes Ledge. Photo: Brian Skerry / New England Ocean Odyssey

With the opportunity to extend and improve ocean habitat protections in the Omnibus Habitat Amendment (OHA), the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) should not bury its analysis in the practices and politics of the past, but look towards the very real needs of the present and future. But rather than moving deliberately to improve protection of Essential Fish Habitat and exercising precaution to protect large areas like other fishery management councils are doing, the NEFMC and even NMFS appear poised to promote a final Omnibus Habitat Amendment that will drastically reduce the extent of protected areas and allow trawling and other commercial fishing gear in areas that have served as refuge for innumerable species for nearly twenty years.

Ask An Expert

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Recent Comments

    3:29 pm, July 2, 2014
    Thomas Nies says:

    The experimental fishing permit for barndoor skates issued to the Georges Bank Fixed Gear Sector should provide useful information that will help us understand this stock. This is one more example where cooperative research with the fishing industry improves our science and management processes. I would, however, like to more clearly explain the status of

    More from Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 27

    7:35 pm, June 5, 2014
    Brad Burns says:

    Millions in tax payer money to pay the very people who overfished the resource to begin with... The politicians think it will buy them a lot of votes. Maybe so, and therefore it won't stop soon, but it won't help solve the problems either.

    More from Avoiding the Next Disaster

    1:58 pm, June 3, 2014
    Paul Dunkirk says:

    This is awsome - too bad they can not get on the stick quicker along with everyone else.

    More from New England Inches Toward Improved Fisheries Management, But There’s a Catch