In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, October 18

No raw oysters were served at this year's Wellfleet OysterFest due to toxins in the oysters. Image via Georgia Sea Grant.

  • The EU Committee on Invasive Alien Species decided that live imports of American lobster will not be banned. The committee informed Sweden, who originally proposed the ban, that there was insufficient scientific evidence to label American lobsters as an invasive species. Lobster industry officials in the U.S., particularly in Maine, were very happy with the decision since a ban could have cost the industry $200 million in annual exports.
  • Officials from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries confirmed norovirus in local oysters. More than 75 people who ate Wellfleet oysters became sick recently, and as a result there were no raw oysters sold at the annual Wellfleet OysterFest this weekend. Distributors even had to return already purchased shellfish since the recall went back to September 26th. Some working at the festival were disappointed by the loss in business, but one longtime shellfisherman told the Cape Cod Times, “If there’s a chance that shellfish are not safe in any way, then they did the right thing.”
  • Rhode Island shellfish tested negative for harmful toxins. Toxin levels still test high in the water, however, so harvest areas remain closed. RI DEM officials are implementing a sampling schedule and coordinating monitoring with the Department of Health. They hope areas will be open again soon.
  • In a demonstration this weekend, York Harbor officials and local fishermen showed how sediment from York River can build up in the harbor, putting boats at risk of running aground. They are hoping to receive federal funding to dredge the harbor. The town has worked for the last four years to secure permits, conduct environmental studies, and raise $2.5 million.
  • The inshore Gulf of Maine herring fishery, ranging from Cape Cod to eastern Maine, has been closed until further notice. Fishermen have caught 90 percent of their quota.

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