In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 4

An olive cod swims through kelp at Cashes Ledge. Photo credit: Brian Skerry.

  • A coalition of partner organizations is calling on the White House to designate Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts as the first Marine National Monument in U.S. Atlantic waters. Cashes Ledge and the canyons and seamounts area serve as important habitat for vulnerable fish and other marine species, and the coalition wants to permanently protect them forever. The President has the authority to designate a national monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906.
  • On September 15, NOAA will hold a town hall meeting in Providence, RI to discuss deep-sea canyons and seamounts protections in New England. Conservation Law Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts want you to tell President Obama to declare a Marine National Monument for New England’s Ocean Treasures: Cashes Ledge and the New England Canyons and Seamounts area.
  • Eight local lawmakers from the Cape and Islands sent a letter to Governor Baker last week expressing concern for the federal fishery disaster aid criteria and asked him to rewrite the proposed rules. The lawmakers say the criteria will exclude over 100 fishing boats from receiving needed aid. The Baker Administration is considering comments on the allocation of Bin 3 disaster aid, about $6.5 million, before distributing funds.
  • A low clam supply in Maine is driving up prices. According to one clam digger, he can get $4 per pound wholesale, which is double last year. Although happy to cash in on the higher prices, clam diggers are worried about the low supply and think that green crab predation may be a cause.
  • It’s Maritime Month at the Portsmouth Public Library. The library will feature exhibits, discussions, and films on the region’s maritime history, ecology, and more. Also, Brian Skerry photography featuring Cashes Ledge and the Gulf of Maine will be on display for the entire month of September.
  • Starting September 10, the New Bedford Public Library will feature a multi-media exhibit called “Inside Out: The New Bedford Fishing Industry through Industry Eyes.” The exhibit is a collection of artwork completed by members of the local fishing industry and is open to the public through October 31st.
  • Martha’s Vineyard fishermen have seen better times, but as recreational boats now outnumber commercial fishing boats, a few fishermen are still holding onto their trade. Conch or whelk fishing is most common on the island and certainly the most valuable since most of the catch is exported to China. Since 2011, conch has been valued at more than $2 million per year. You can learn more about the island’s mostly seasonal commercial fishing industry in the Martha Vineyard Times.
  • Great white sharks seem to be more abundant in Cape Cod waters than previous summers. On Monday, researchers saw 23 great whites, although some may be repeats. The sharks also seem to be moving closer to shore, which has worried some towns and beachgoers. Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Director Cynthia Wygren reminds us, however, that the sharks have not caused any harm to humans.
  • A 24-foot basking shark that was beached on a sandbar at the Lubec Narrows in Maine sadly did not survive. Locals, including members of the New England Aquarium tried for several hours to pour water over the shark’s gills, but their efforts were unsuccessful. NEAq biologist will perform a necropsy to determine why the shark became beached and why it died.

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