In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 21

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal hosts thousands of datasets, including information on commercial fishing.

  • NOAA Fisheries for the Greater Atlantic Region is reviewing its method of estimating discarded fish. The agency currently relies on on-board observers for most of its discard data, but coverage is low. For example in the region’s groundfish industry, only 14 percent of trips are observed. GARFO has hired two scientists to conduct independent reviews of their methods and will host a webinar on October 31 to discuss the review process. There will also be a three-day workshop November 7-9.
  • The Gulf of Maine shrimp fishery has been closed for three consecutive seasons. The Atlantic States Marine Fishery Management Council will soon decide whether or not it will be closed again for 2017. On November 10th, ASMFC will review the most recent stock assessment and recommendations made by the shrimp advisory panel.
  • The Northeast Regional Ocean Plan was submitted to the National Ocean Council for final approval. Once approved, which is expected in December, “New England will lead the nation in developing guidelines and an online database to provide framework for all future development and decision-making regarding the sea,” reported NH Business Review.
  • At next week’s meeting, ASMFC is expected to vote on new management plan measures for southern New England lobster. Managers hope that the new measures can help preserve the region’s lobster whose populations have been suffering. The AP reports, “Measures could include strategies such as seasonal closures and changes to the minimum and maximum harvesting sizes of lobsters.”
  • There is no longer a bait shortage for New England’s lobster fishery. Regulators were able to manage the inshore herring fishery well enough to keep it open through October 18 and the offshore fishery was finally able to find herring in mid-September, doubling the amount landed in three weeks. Lobstermen, however, were hurt by higher than average bait prices due to the shortage. One lobstermen said that his bait price increased by 15 percent while another said that it doubled.
  • Regulators will soon decide on Maine’s scallop quota for the upcoming season, which runs December to April. The state already released a proposed rule that proposed to maintain the catch limit from the previous year. It also proposed to close several areas.

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