Posted November 2013

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 29

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, small spring plankton blooms may affect cod and hake; right whales are conspicuously absent from their usual feeding grounds; fishermen respond to the Council’s inaction on herring trawling observer coverage; ICCAT maintains bluefin quotas; Maine’s coastal scallop fishery is recovering; the ASMFC recommends a moratorium on Maine shrimp fishing; the Large Pelagics Research Center seeks funding; Maine announces board members for its lobster marketing initiative; the red knot depends on horseshoe crabs for survival. … More Info »

Congress’ Chance to Improve its Standing on Ocean Management

Congress is now considering the final version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that contains two significant ocean provisions. The first is the National Endowment for the Oceans, a bi-partisan effort to set up an endowment supporting work by state, regional, tribal and federal entities, as well as nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. Also in the debate is a rider to the WRDA bill, which would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from any implementation of the National Ocean Policy. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 22

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the NEFMC discusses observer coverage for the midwater trawl fleet; ICCAT meets to set bluefin limits; plankton are adapting poorly to climate change; Maine surveys its booming green crab population; an experimental survey finds more yellowtail than expected on Georges Bank; oyster farmers recover from a monthlong closure; Maine’s farmed salmon industry is recovering; the Center for Sustainable Fisheries discusses its plans for Magnuson; a letter to the Portland Press Herald says it’s time to address climate change and acidification; Forbes says striped bass anglers should voluntarily reduce catch; the EPA awards grants to repower eight lobster vessels. … More Info »

A Thanksgiving Fish Story

Many people know the Thanksgiving legend of Squanto (Tisquantum), the Native American who taught Pilgrims how to plant crops and survive in New England. But not many know that Squanto’s legend is a fish story—in more ways than one. Scientist and author John Waldman is the latest to take a deeper look into this part of the Thanksgiving story. His new book, Running Silver, has a fascinating chapter on how important river-running fish were for many American Indians. … More Info »

Doom and Bloom?

Scientists say the amount of zooplankton—the tiny animals near the base of the ocean food web—hit an all-time low this spring in waters off the U.S. Northeast. The latest ecosystem advisory from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center says the biomass of zooplankton this spring on the Northeast Shelf was the lowest on record since the agency began measurements. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 15

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, dogfish are plentiful, but consumers want cod; rising water temperatures bring new fish to New England; Maine introduces changes to elver management for 2014, but they may cause conflict; SMAST tests its video fish counting equipment; local groups team up to provide fishermen with low-cost pingers; the ASMFC says Maine shrimp are in bad shape; 38 lawmakers ask congressional leaders for fishing disaster aid; Maine tests new green crab control measures; a community development corporation helps a seafood cannery and the town it supports; scientists say ocean acidification could increase 170% by 2100; MAFMC member John McMurray calls for comprehensive river herring management. … More Info »

Keeping Watch: Another attempt to monitor the largest vessels fishing our waters

The New England Fishery Management Council is poised once again to address the inadequate monitoring of a major fishery—the midwater trawl vessels of the Atlantic herring fleet. Fishermen occasionally bristle at having observers on their boats. But they also know that we simply can’t make good decisions about our fisheries if we don’t know what’s happening on the water. Without an accurate assessment of fishing effort, mortality, and bycatch, fisheries management is akin to flying in the dark. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 8

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Senators Begich and Warren hold a listening session with fishing industry representatives; the Small Business Administration agrees to provide economic disaster loans to Massachusetts fishermen; NOAA raises groundfish possession limits for common pool vessels; NMFS extends the comment period on new bluefin rules; Maine launches an investigation into welfare fraud by elver fishermen; Maryland’s eel fishery is hurt by Maine’s glass eel harvest; fishermen fight a bill to limit commercial striped bass fishing; a Maryland judge denies a request to reopen menhaden fishing. … More Info »

Scallopers Haul Back a Short-Sighted Vision

Perhaps the most interesting and troubling testimony coming from Senator Warren’s recent fish disaster hearing in Boston came from the scallop industry representatives. On paper this is the most valuable federal fishery in the U.S.—average large boat gross revenues in 2011 were $1,728,000 for about 75 days at sea with trip costs of about $2,000 per day. With this record of financial success, along with the constant reminder that New Bedford is the highest revenue grossing port in the nation, it’s odd that industry reps painted two different pictures. … More Info »

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working in New England

This morning, stakeholders met with Senator Begich of Alaska, Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey, and other members of the New England congressional delegation for a listening session on fisheries. Panel members included a number of industry representatives, fishermen, scientists, and local stakeholders. The panel discussed topics ranging from the ten-year rebuilding requirements in the Magnuson-Stevens Act to the economic condition of the fleet to the development of electronic monitoring technologies. Conservation Law Foundation’s Peter Shelley delivered this testimony. … More Info »