In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 27

A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. Photo by Brian Skerry.

  • The start of Carlos Rafael’s trial in federal court has been rescheduled to March 20th at the request of the defendant. This is the second time the start date has been moved. The trial for Rafael’s partner, Antonio Freitas, has also been pushed back to May 15. Rafael’s attorney would not comment on a possible pre-trial deal, according to the Gloucester Daily Times.
  • UMass Dartmouth researchers worked with commercial trawlers on Stellwagen Bank to successfully test an underwater video-survey system for assessing Atlantic cod stocks. The camera records video of the fish as they swim through the net, and the researchers sampled some of them for length, weight, and biological samples. The researchers plan to survey spring spawning in early April.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council met this week in Portsmouth, NH for its January 2017 meeting. The Council selected preferred alternatives for the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment for both the omnibus and Atlantic herring portions of the amendment. For Category A and B vessels in the Atlantic herring fleet, the Council chose a target of 50 percent monitoring coverage. Given funding, fishermen will need to use at-sea monitors, but in the future, they will be able to choose between ASM or electronic monitoring and portside sampling.
  • Also on the topic of Atlantic herring at the meeting, the Council narrowed down possible acceptable biological catch control rules for Amendment 8. The PDT will now focus on further analyzing the annual and three-year-based biomass control rules. And, the Council chose not to take action on Framework Adjustment 5 which was intended to modify Georges Bank haddock accountability measures.
  • Researchers have determined that lobster blood may have medicinal properties capable of treating certain skin ailments. Data shows that it is an antiviral. The company Lobster Unlimited LLC has developed a product called LobsteRx to treat dry skin, chapped lips, cold sores, and minor cuts and burns. The product is not yet available in stores.
  • The first North Atlantic right whales of the year returned to Cape Cod Bay last week. Two whales were sighted about five miles south of Provincetown Harbor on January 17 and two days later five whales were sighted. North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered; the population is estimated to be 524 individuals, reported Cape Cod Today.

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