In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the Senate confirms Kathryn Sullivan as NOAA administrator; the value of Maine’s lobster fishery continues to rise, despite potential threats; brightly colored lobster gear could help prevent entanglements; Maine should address its declining smelt population; Maine’s elver season could be delayed due to disputes over regulations; five countries agree to a moratorium on Arctic fishing; an ocean acidification bill gathers support in Maine; die-offs of urban shellfish may be linked to pollution; shrimp-flavored gelatin could be used as crab bait; local fishermen clean up “ghost gear”; climate change is altering Rhode Island’s marine landscape; BOEM releases an EIS on seismic air gun surveys.
In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA will cover the cost of at-sea observers for Fishing Year 2014; New England will receive $33 million in fisheries disaster funding; NEFMC meets to select preferred habitat alternatives; scientists say Maine didn’t know about mercury contamination in the Penobscot until last year; a Telegraph article says Cape Cod is missing its cod; new research shows blood harvesting may influence horseshoe crab behavior; the United States calls for a moratorium on Arctic fishing; the Economist and National Geographic host a World Ocean Summit where John Kerry calls for expanded global marine reserves.
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on Congressman Doc Hastings’ proposed bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Conservation Law Foundation Senior Counsel Peter Shelley’s oral testimony to the committee is included below.
With this developing tragedy as a backdrop, the New England Fishery Management Council this week undertakes its first major step in defining protection for vulnerable ocean habitat – the same habitat that our depleted groundfish need if they are ever to recover. The decisions of the Council and NMFS on the pending Omnibus Habitat Amendment will be critical to the future ecological and commercial health and resilience of our ocean and will provide an indication of the seriousness with which our fisheries and ocean managers take this impending crisis.
In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Maine announces a lobster fishing closure due to mercury contamination; a NOAA biologist maps changes in butterfish distribution; a New Bedford activist suggests a bus route for fish house workers; a Rhode Island fisherman speaks out against BOEM leases; an archaeological dataset provides a new ecological baseline for herring; a New York Times editorial says the value of marine protected areas shouldn’t be dismissed; Michael Conathan suggests disaster funding should be used for permit buyback; charter fishermen oppose a recreational fishing closure on Stellwagen Bank; a Long Island op-ed supports a place for New York on the New England Council; two berths will be added to Gloucester’s fish pier; 51 dams were removed in 2013.