Solutions and Innovations

Shark-Saving Legislation Proposed During Discovery’s “Shark Week”

Female Blue Shark with mating scars swims just below surface; New England. ©Brian Skerry

Just in time for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, a team of United States Senators, led by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), has introduced legislation seeking to eliminate U.S. involvement in the global shark fin market. The bipartisan Shark Fin Trade Elimination … More Info »

New England Fisheries

Proposed rule a certain mistake for river herring and shad

As victims of bycatch, river herring and shad populations have dwindled to historic lows. Image via NOAA/GARFO.

The proposed 2016-2018 management measures for the Atlantic herring fishery set catch limits for Atlantic herring and adjust limits, or “catch caps,” on the amount of allowable river herring and shad bycatch by the herring fleet. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, as well as the Atlantic herring fishery management plan, are clear in their requirements and goals on the need to minimize bycatch to the extent practicable; however, NOAA Fisheries preliminarily supports the NEFMC’s recommendation to increase the river herring and shad catch caps. This is a clear inconsistency with the law and management goals.

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In the News

Shark Talk in the News – Tuesday, June 28

The United States is leading the way in shark conservation. Image via NOAA Sanctuaries.

In honor of Shark Week, as well as the return of great white sharks to New England waters, this is a special edition of Fish Talk in the News – it’s Shark Talk in the News.

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In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 24

The U.S. Congress introduced the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016. Image via

In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, NOAA will reimburse a portion of at-sea monitoring costs; a trial date is set for Carlos Rafael; the EU asks Sweden to justify its claim that the American lobster is invasive; mercury findings prompt Maine to widen a fishing ban in Penobscot River estuary; NOAA Fisheries releases Draft Northeast Climate Science Action Plan; NOAA will post herring area 1A catches twice weekly; and Congress introduces the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016.

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Protecting Ocean Ecosystems

The Right Rope for Right Whales

A new fishing rope design may help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. Photo: Brian Skerry/New England Ocean Odyssey.

Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the leading causes of injury and death for endangered North Atlantic right whales. According to the New England Aquarium, more than 70 percent of the population has scars from fishing gear. This is a serious issue for an animal whose population numbers are in the hundreds (some 550 are left) and whose feeding grounds double as a busy fishing area. That is why the New England Aquarium is working with local fishermen to develop a new type of fishing rope, as recently highlighted by the Boston Globe.

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Bottom Line

Are you reading terms like “overfishing” and “stock assessments,” but you’re not quite sure what they mean? These blog posts explain the basics of U.S. fishery management, from the current state of our nation’s fisheries to policies and strategies to ensure healthy, robust fish populations.

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