In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 30

From time to time, we like to keep you updated on the other news sources that have been “talking fish.” Here’s a quick look at some recent stories and websites that we think might interest readers:

    • Last week, NOAA released its first National Bycatch Report. The report uses data collected in 2005, so it does not represent current bycatch rates, but it does provide a baseline for measuring bycatch reduction and establishes a comprehensive methodology for future studies. Based on the 2005 data, the report found that 17 percent of fish caught commerically were harvested unintentionally (as bycatch). However, since 2005, important bycatch reduction measures such as fisherman-scientist partnerships and outreach and education programs have gone into effect. To learn more abut the National Bycatch Report, read the NOAA press release here.
    • An article earlier this week in The Globe and Mail discusses the traceability trend – tracking food, in this case seafood, through the supply chain back to its origin. The article focuses on Canadian programs to trace seafood, but we have similar programs right here in New England. The article quotes Jack Ulrich, an expert on emerging technologies, who says that although smaller, faster, and cheaper tracing technology will allow consumers to scan a product in a grocery store and determine all kinds of things about its source, the subset of consumers who will actually do that is very small. What do you think? Do you plan to use new traceability tools? (Or maybe you’re using them already?)
    • In an opinion piece in the New Bedford Standard Times, Environmental Defense Fund Groundfish Project Manager Emilie Litsinger writes about improvements that can be made to ensure the sector management system works effectively for as many fishermen as possible. The op-ed comes in advance of the hearing Senator Kerry will be holding in Boston on Monday to “examine the first year of the catch share fisheries management plan, including its social and economic impacts, and discuss constructive steps forward to improve its outcomes.” Ms. Listinger suggests the following priorities for improving the sector management system: place reasonable limits on how much fishing quota any one entity can control; reduce the high costs of at-sea observers; use state-of-the-art electronic monitoring programs; and provide greater access to underused fish stocks.


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