In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, December 1

In New England, Atlantic cod has been overfished and subject to overfishing for decades. Image via NOAA.

  • Nova Scotia granted a Norwegian energy company approval for oil exploration on the eastern border of Georges Bank. The lease area is 225 miles southeast of Bar Harbor at the entrance to the Gulf of Maine, which is concerning to many environmentalists. According to the Portland Press Herald, “[This] would be the closest that exploratory drilling has come to Maine since the early 1980s.” The company has pledged $82 million to exploration.
  • In an editorial published last week, the Portland Press Herald commented on the benefits of transitioning to electronic monitoring for New England fisheries. Electronic monitoring is less expensive than on-board monitors and can possibly provide more reliable data. Equipment for electronic monitoring would require about a $2 million investment, which the Herald said “is an investment in preserving a way of life under threat by environmental change.”
  • A Maine lobsterman who has been fishing for 35 years found something new in his traps – tunicates. He found two species of tunicates or sea squirts, both of which are invasive to Maine and New England. Sea squirts make lobster traps harder to clean and have the more dangerous potential of smothering shellfish colonies.
  • Maine lobster exporters see an opportunity in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would eliminate certain tariffs to markets in Asia. The value of Maine lobster exports has nearly doubled since 2010, increasing from $185 million to $366 million in 2014. Vice President of Export Sales and Marketing at Calendar Island Lobster Co. hopes to see growth particularly in Japan. According to the Bangor Daily News, Maine exported $25 million in seafood to Japan in 2014.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council’s December meeting started today in Portland, ME. If you cannot attend the meeting you can still listen live via webinar.

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