Posted September 2014

Risky Decisions and the Demise of New England’s Cod

People across the Northeast are rightly asking what is wrong with the management of New England’s fishing, and what needs to change.The Pew Charitable Trusts aimed to answer those questions with thorough research on and analysis of actions by the New England Fishery Management Council. The result is an issue brief we have titled “Risky Decisions.” … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 26

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NMFS announced the closure of the George’s Bank Atlantic herring fishery; NEFMC invested $800,000 in collaborative research projects; a UMass Dartmouth professor received $205,000 for bycatch-reducing technology development; NEFSC began a new campaign to protect North Atlantic Right Whales; NEFMC is seeking SSC nominees; local organizations disapprove of the new Gloucester Harbor Plan; Maine lobster supply returns to average levels; Maine lobster processors receive government loan; a Globe article describes the effects of climate change on Maine lobster; the Gulf of Maine Lobster Fishery enters the next phase of MSC certification; scallop landings are declining; Oceana pushes for reform of gillnet use; an opinion piece on menhaden; GAO finds geographic disparity in stock assessments; Lee Crocket of Pew Charitable Trusts promotes ecosystem-based fisheries management; and NFSC publishes a report on electronic monitoring in fisheries data collection. … More Info »

The Face of Failure

“It seems quite clear that what many of us have feared finally has occurred—a collapse or near-collapse of the [Gulf of Maine] cod stock…” … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 19

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NEFMC proposed emergency recommendations for the Gulf of Maine cod stock; John Waldman comments on the thriving Norwegian and Russian cod fishery; regional fishing groups for the Fishing Community Coalition; the Newfoundland cod fishery is undergoing a major transformation; the Maine Department of Marine Resources makes a temporary exception to their lobster trawl limit rule; invasive green crab numbers in Maine are beginning to decline; the proposed amendment for the flounder, scup, and bass fishery management plan is entering its public comment period; a new book on herring and southeastern Massachusetts was released; a new study reveals phytoplankton out-evolving climate change; NOAA Fisheries announced the 2014 Funded Prescott Grant Proposals; Omega Protein Corp. released its inaugural corporate social responsibility report; NMFS and NEFMC are soliciting Atlantic Sea Scallop RSA Program proposals; the largest-sized U.S. scallops are in short supply; a NOAA and UNC-Wilmington study addresses how climate change is affecting fish communities; and conservation groups move to protect endangered whales from drift gill nets. … More Info »

Manhattan’s Marine Mammals Make a Meal of Menhaden

New York might not be the first place you’d think of for a nature experience, but wildlife lovers there are thrilling to the sight of whales and dolphins within view of the city’s skyline. And the resurgence of these magnificent animals is partly due to the humble fish called menhaden. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 12

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, saltwater recreational fishermen ask Congress for greater representation under the Magnuson-Stevens Act; oyster beds on Martha’s Vineyard are temporarily closed; the Maine lobster industry pursues sustainable certification assessment; state fish trawl survey reports record low catches; New Hampshire residents take back ownership of their food through a community-supported fishery model; the Long Island Sound lobster fishery faces a three-month closure; NOAA supports a right whale conservation campaign; a new NOAA report examines the environmental effects of derelict fishing gear; the California blue whale population has rebounded; a new whale protection app launched this week; researchers study the effects of ocean acidification on mussels and sharks; and U.S. shrimp imports set a new record. … More Info »

“Known is a drop. Unknown is an ocean.”

That still-true ancient line, penned by Tamil poet Avvaiyar some two thousand years ago, reminds us all that while it is worth paying attention to what we see, it is often critical not to be seduced by our convictions about what it means. And so it is that recent reports from the Portland waterfront of bountiful cod can neither be ignored nor fully credited. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 5

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, scientists and fishermen comment on the status of New England cod stocks; Peter Baker of the PEW Charitable Trusts and Earth Justice’s Roger Fleming offer their thoughts on the importance of ocean habitat protection in fisheries management; North Shore fishermen are expected to receive disaster aid; the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program upgraded the status of 21 groundfish species; AP reports on rising ocean temperatures affecting the Gulf of Maine ocean habitat; scientists discovered a new deep sea coral in the Gulf of Maine; and a great white shark gives some Cape Cod kayakers a scare. … More Info »

Former New England Council Chair Calls for More Protection for Cod

When fishing columnist Rip Cunningham read the latest assessment of the rapidly deteriorating condition of New England’s cod stocks, he wrote, “Can you spell ‘real disaster’?” … More Info »

Illegal Fishing Puts the Rest of Us on the Hook

We’ve seen a spate of news stories recently on illegal fishing in northeast U.S. ocean waters, as enforcement officials take action on unreported catch. Some of the numbers are eye-popping. One bust involved 56,000 pounds of illegally caught and unreported summer flounder, also known as fluke. Another charge alleged 86,000 unreported pounds of the same fish over three years. Few people realize the extent of illegal fishing, the harm it can do to our ocean resources, and the ways in which this cheating undermines efforts to measure and sustainably manage fisheries. … More Info »