Posted February 2014

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 28

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. … More Info »

The Myth of Flexibility

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. … More Info »

Head in the Sand: Industry Steams in Full Reverse on Need for Habitat Protection

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. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 21

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. … More Info »

Maine’s Most Lucrative Fishery Threatened by Pesticides?

Last month, Maine legislator Walter Kumiega introduced a bill that would ban the use of two pesticides, methoprene and resmethrin, in any body of water or area in the state that drains into the Gulf of Maine. We’re all familiar with some of the negative consequences of certain pesticides—from DDT’s effect on birds described in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to the more recent concerns about some chemicals’ role in crashing honeybee populations. But Kumiega’s bill is unusual in that it seeks to protect a marine species, not a terrestrial one—lobsters. … More Info »

Industry Lawyers Wrong on Closed Areas Science: An Open and Shut Case

It must have come as a surprise to dozens of scientists from leading institutions to read in National Fisherman that “there are no scientific studies showing that closed areas, in temperate areas like New England, provide benefits to fishery productivity or conservation.” This is so demonstrably false it would be funny, if the stakes weren’t so serious. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 14

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NERO becomes GARFO; Maine scrambles to find an elver management solution before the season begins in March; more opposition arises to Doc Hastings’ MSA reauthorization draft; a new deal allows oyster farmers to use floating gear; Maine closes more coastal scallop areas; NEFSC releases data from a cooperative flatfish survey; Massachusetts will lose $34 million in direct revenue due to depleted stocks; Massachusetts clammers meet to discuss green crabs; the Senate Oceans Caucus supports treaties to fight pirate fishing; a New Bedford Standard-Times piece focuses on homeless scallopers. … More Info »

Red’s Best Charts a Path Forward for Locally Sourced Seafood

Red’s Best is developing innovative technology to change the way fishermen sell to distributors and the way restaurateurs and consumers trace their seafood from boat to plate. And notwithstanding the gloom surrounding some of New England fishing operations, his business is thriving—since beginning six years ago, it’s grown from one employee to about fifty. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 7

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the Hastings Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization proposal; a DMF biologist says the lobster fishery south of Cape Cod won’t recover any time soon; federal fisheries disaster aid will be distributed as block grants to states; a Canadian businessman thinks he has a solution to Maine’s green crab problem; Cape Cod charter boats struggle with low black sea bass quota; NEFMC releases the agenda for its upcoming meeting; Bruce Tarr testifies in support of a new marketing fund for locally-caught seafood; new research highlights five factors that determine the success of MPAs in rebuilding fish populations. … More Info »

Deep-Sea Corals: The French Connection

A new agreement in France to end bottom trawl fishing in deep waters could send ripples to this side of the pond, where fisheries managers and industry leaders are discussing ways to protect the fragile and fascinating deep-sea corals in American waters. … More Info »