In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 10

Sea scallop with 100 eyes at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo Credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS

  • A study found that fishing worsens forage fish population collapses. Forage fish populations fluctuate naturally, but this is the first time scientists have been able to determine that fluctuations are also connected to fishing pressures. University of Washington Professor Tim Essington looked at 55 anchovy stocks, 27 of which had collapsed at some point, and saw that fishing was 50-200% higher than average right before or during collapse.
  • NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on the NEFMC proposal for catch limits for small-mesh multispecies such as hake and whiting. NEFMC recommended reducing the northern red hake catch limit. Public comments are being accepted until April 23, 2015.
  • Maine lawmakers unanimously endorsed a proposal that would require licensing for all companies and individuals exporting elvers as well as the use of real-time monitoring. Legislators are trying to curtail illegal activity within the elver fishery, which is one of the state’s most profitable. The fishery was estimated to be worth $40 million in 2012, but brought in as much as $20 million in black market sales.
  • The Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center calculated the 2015 observer set-aside compensation for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. The rate for limited access vessels fishing under days at sea is 0.08 DAS per DAS fished. This is a slight increase from last year. The calculation will be revisited in May.
  • A University of Maine undergraduate student developed a device to test lobster claw strength to determine shipping viability. A lobster needs enough muscle mass to handle the stress of shipping. The industry has previously used blood samples in this process.
  • Rhode Island has seen a boom in aquaculture production over the last two years. From 2012-13, sales increased 49%, and from 2013-14 sales increased 24%. Less than twenty years ago, the state was last in the country in terms of aquaculture acreage and production, but as of 2014 has 55 farms, totaling 206.2 acres and earning $5.04 million.
  • The 35th Boston Seafood Show had a record breaking year. This year’s expo was the largest in terms of exhibit space and square footage. A total of 220,130 square feet was sold to 1,204 participating exhibit companies from 51 countries. Over 20,680 individuals attended the three day event.
  • Connecticut DEEP has enlisted police dogs to sniff out illegal fish. The dogs have been trained to search vessels or other areas where illegally caught fish may be hidden.
  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is holding a workshop to help fishing crew members fill out applications for Groundfish Disaster Economic Assistance on April 17th in New Bedford, MA. The application deadline is April 24, 2015.
  • Over 500 men have been rescued from the Indonesian Island village of Benjina since the Associated Press published its story about slave-caught seafood. Most men rescued were from Myanmar who had been tricked into leaving their home country and forced into fishing.

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