In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 9

Mackerel is a good consumer choice and source of vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. Image via fishwatch.gov

  • Representative Frank Guinta’s (R-NH) filed a bill last week that attempts to prevent NOAA from shifting the cost of at-sea monitoring to the groundfish industry. Under Guinta’s bill, fishermen would not have to “comply with the independent, third party monitoring program” unless NOAA provided federal funds for the program. The bill is currently sitting in the House’s natural resources committee.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that American eels will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act. A California-based group originally filed a petition requesting that the species be listed as threatened due to declining populations and pressures from fishing. The service said that the species “currently appears to be stable” even though their populations are much smaller than historical levels. In 2015, Maine baby eels or elvers were valued as high as $2,100 per pound. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists American eels as endangered.
  • Using geolocation data gathered from fish tags, UMass Dartmouth researchers are leading a project to better understand fish movement patterns. Researchers are studying Atlantic cod, yellowtail flounder, and monkfish in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. Fishery managers need to properly understand fish movement patterns to promote sustainable fisheries. The project is funded by a NOAA 2014-15 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant.
  • NOAA Fisheries is seeking comment on the Greater Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Implementation Plan. The plan outlines steps to implement the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Implementation Plan in the northeast. NOAA wants anglers to weigh in on how the regional action plan can be improved and how it should be used in 2016-2017. Comments are accepted until October 26, 2015.
  • Local mackerel are now in season before they migrate south for the winter; however, a local Cape Cod fisherman says it is difficult to find a market for the species. Willie Ligenza uses a handline to catch mackerel and can bring up eight fish at once. He encourages consumers to eat underutilized species like mackerel over cod or haddock.
  • Ocean conservation saw great successes at the second Our Ocean conference this week. Participants in Chile announced over 80 new marine conservation and protection initiatives. Together, these initiatives are valued at over $2.1 billion. Participants also committed to protecting more than 1.9 square kilometers of ocean area.
  • Announced at Our Ocean 2015, the United States is launching a new program called “Sea Scout” to combat illegal fishing. The program aims to “increase cooperation among nations seeking to identify and prosecute illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.” The program will increase the use of technology to combat this global issue and will identify “regional hot spots” of IUU fishing. $23 billion annually is lost to IUU fishing, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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