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In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 21
Photo credit: Joachim S. Mueller.
- Governor Baker and the Massachusetts delegation sent a letter to the secretary of the US Department of Commerce and other federal officials on Monday expressing “serious concern” for NOAA requiring the fishing industry to pay for at-sea monitoring. The letter references the historical significance and economic importance of the fishing industry to Massachusetts and addresses the economic impacts that the funding requirement will have on fishing communities. Baker et al. do not believe that disaster federal aid should be used to pay for at-sea monitoring, and the signatories urge support for requiring NOAA to fund the monitoring program. The Boston Globe provides more background information on the issue.
- On Tuesday, NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard sent another letter to the New England Fishery Management Council once again denying its requests related to the at-sea monitoring program. Bullard said “none of the options would be consistent with the current regulatory requirements and statistical standards…” NOAA will not alter monitoring coverage for the 2015 fishing year, but is working on streamlining the at-sea monitoring program.
- Scientists say ocean warming is largely causing major shifts in lobster populations. Southern New England lobster populations have collapsed, while Maine is experiencing record landings. The overall supply is still steady, so prices have not been affected; however, lobstermen in Connecticut and Rhode Island are being forced out of business.
- NOAA Fisheries has further reduced the Northern red hake passion limit. Effective Monday, August 24, the per trip limit for Northern red hake will be 400 lbs and will be in effect through the 2015 fishing year. Federal rule requires the possession limit to be reduced when landings reach 62.5 percent of the total allowable catch.
- The Marine Stewardship Council has been developing a seafood traceability tool called the MSC Online Transaction Solution. MSC wants to add integrity to their supply chain and says there currently is no online tool for verifying seafood supply chain transactions. MSC is seeking stakeholder feedback on the tool.
- The Coast Guard rescued a disabled fishing vessel 70 miles southeast of Nantucket on Monday. The propeller had failed, and the vessel was adrift. The crew and catch returned safely.
- Read more about Dr. Sylvia Earle’s dive on Cashes Ledge last week. Professional journalist David Kirby writes about it on takepart.com.