In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 15

Atlantic cod are considered a "choke species" in the Gulf of Maine. Photo credit: Dieter Craasman.

  • Regional Administrator John Bullard has said that $200,000 of the federal fishery disaster relief funds will go to funding a committee to study a buyback program. Industry members say this year’s especially strict groundfish regulations increase the need for a buyback program. The committee will hopefully be organized this year.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council released its April/May Council report. The report includes information on the Omnibus Habitat Amendment, Amendment 18 to the Groundfish Plan, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and more.
  • Maine’s Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher met with Passamaquoddy Tribe officials this week to discuss elver fishery management practices. A request to provide details about the meeting was declined, but the meeting follows a recent feud between the two regarding the ban of fyke ne use in the fishery.
  • Vice President for Bird Conservation with the National Audubon Society Stephen Kress and photojournalist Derrick Jackson joined WBUR’s program Here & Now to talk about their latest book, “Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock.” Kress and Jackson gave a lecture at the New England Aquarium about Project Puffin earlier this month.
  • NOAA released a prediction that this year’s spring and summer red tides will be similar to those of the last three years. NOAA made the prediction based on the Gulf of Maine red tide seasonal forecast, which is generated by modeling how algae respond to ocean conditions.
  • NOAA awarded more than $10 million to ten sea scallop research projects. Scallop set-aside funds will pay for the projects. 14 researchers from four organizations in Massachusetts and Virginia will work on the projects, one of which is a video survey of Georges Banks scallop areas being led by UMass Dartmouth.
  • A recent NY Times opinion article describes how the World War II marked a major turning point for global fisheries. The invention of sonar could be used to hunt fish, Japanese fighter pilots were trained to look for whales, and super trawlers scooped up fish in quantities larger than ever before. The piece concludes with how we have made steps to preserve out oceans, much like in peace time following war.
  • A draft House appropriations bill released by the commerce, justice, and science appropriations committee (CJS) this week would cut the overall budget of NOAA as well as cut funds to NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The National Science Foundation would get a small increase. NOAA’s current budget would be cut by $274 million.

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