Posted June 2013

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 28

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, another Boston Globe opinion piece says Martha Coakley’s lawsuit will have negative consequences; NOAA’s John Bullard hosts a conference call to discuss industry recovery; a new yellowtail assessment will involve industry participation; Penny Pritzker is confirmed as Commerce Secretary; the Hook changes its name; members of Congress ask for a higher bluefin tuna catch limit; letters to the editor point out the poor state of groundfish stocks; Scott Lang and Brian Rothschild start a NOAA watchdog group; Maine allocates $2 million to lobster marketing. … More Info »

Worst times, or just very, very bad? Industry splits hairs over the awful condition of cod

There remain some marginal voices in the fishing industry who continue to claim that cod populations are not in bad shape. Taking issue with a recent conclusion of mine that Atlantic cod were in their worst condition in history, these apologists for overfishing suggest that cod are just “in the middle of a rebuilding period.” Nonsense. … More Info »

At-Sea Catch of River Herring Gets Long Overdue Attention

Severely depleted river herring and shad have been the focus of extensive restoration efforts in rivers for years—dams have come down, fish ladders and passages have gone up, and millions of dollars have been spent to improve habitat and water quality. Yet the loss of hundreds of thousands of these fish in the nets of trawlers has gone largely unaddressed—until now. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 21

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the Commerce Department appoints new Fishery Management Council members; MAFMC imposes the first ever federal catch limits on shad and river herring; John Tierney’s Farm Bill amendment for fisheries loans fails; high landings of Canadian lobster push down prices; the Globe highlights the plight of fishermen and GMRI releases a new report on cod; scientists tag gray seals; TNC collaborates with New Hampshire fishermen to buy groundfish permits; Pew’s John Crawford responds to the Gloucester Daily Times; NMFS shuts down longlining for large bluefin for the rest of the year. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 14

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, a Globe editorial says Attorney General Martha Coakley’s lawsuit has “destructive potential”; Gloucester Daily Times journalist Richard Gaines dies; Cape Cod fishermen seek cleaner fuels; the Cape’s first great white shark of the season spotted off Orleans; Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez answer questions on groundfish and Cape Wind; Connecticut scales back salmon stocking efforts; Maine defeats a bill to let groundfishermen land lobster; the MA State House holds a hearing on seafood mislabeling; Senator Mo Cowan adds amendments to the Farm Bill to help fishermen. … More Info »

The Bottom Line: For New England’s Fishing Fleet It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Twenty years later, the sense of déjà vu is unshakeable. A new season brings a troubling scenario of depleted fish populations and deficient management. Fourteen of the region’s 20 groundfish—or bottom dwelling—species are currently overexploited. Cod stocks are at the lowest levels ever recorded. New England’s best captains could not find enough cod in the past year to meet more than a third of their allotted quota on Georges Bank. It is, officially, an economic disaster, as the U.S. Department of Commerce declared last fall. In short, here we are, with our storied fishing grounds in even worse shape than they were two decades ago. … More Info »

Veteran Gloucester Journalist Richard Gaines Dead at Age 69

We at Talking Fish are saddened to hear of the passing of Gloucester Daily Times columnist Richard Gaines yesterday afternoon. Richard worked for 11 years at the Daily Times covering city hall, politics, and the fishing business, and in his … More Info »

Day of Celebration on the St. Croix

It’s not often you get the chance to celebrate such a clear victory for the environment as the return of the alewife to the St. Croix River watershed. As discussed in prior posts, a Maine law prohibiting alewives from accessing this fish ladder at the Grand Falls Dam was repealed this past May and for the first time in two decades, alewives are able to return to their spawning grounds upriver. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 7

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, ocean acidification will affect squid; puffins may be in trouble due to depleted herring populations; NOAA cancels furloughs; Maine celebrates the reopening of fishways on the St. Croix; Omega Protein will pay $5.5 million in fines for Clean Water Act violations; the Maine Legislature wants a $3.5 million bond to subsidize groundfish permit purchases; fourteen sea scallop research projects receive $12.5 million in grants. … More Info »

The Most Valuable Fishery You’ve Never Heard Of

On May 31, Maine’s elver fishing season came to a close. For the small number of Maine fishermen who can make over $100,000 in two months capturing elvers, the end of the season may come as a bit of a letdown. For the regulators and conservation officers who try to manage the fishery, however, the close probably comes none too soon. … More Info »