In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, December 15

Herring are an important forage fish species. Photo: NOAA Fishwatch.

  • History was made last weekend at the Paris Climate Summit where more than 195 countries adopted a global agreement to fight climate change. The agreement sets a goal to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, as well as a more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius. To do so, countries have agreed to lower greenhouse gas emissions every five years, the first cycle of which will begin in 2020.
  • Maine’s 2016 shrimp season has been cancelled due to low populations, but some catch will be allowed for a research program. Four boats and two trappers will be allowed to participate in the program and be able to catch 1,800 pounds and 600 pounds per trip, respectively. The total annual catch cannot exceed 48,000 pounds. Fishermen will be allowed to sell their catch.
  • The 2016 Atlantic commercial shark fishery will open January 1, announced NOAA Fisheries. The fishery will open despite a recent online petition asking that NOAA end commercial shark fishing. NOAA responded to the petition that “regulations in place are designed to prevent the overcrowding of sharks and rebuild depleted shark stocks.” One regulation is that all sharks must be landed with their fins attached.
  • Published today in the Federal Register, the Assistant Regional Manager of the Greater Atlantic Region determined “the Exempted Fishing Permit that would facilitate harvest of Atlantic herring research set-aside quota warrants further consideration.” This exemption typically allows vessels to harvest Atlantic herring after the commercial limit has been reduced and during certain seasonal closures.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council voted to slightly increase the number of days at sea for the 2016 scallop fishery. Fishermen will be allowed 34.5 days rather than 31. Each vessel will still only be able to harvest 51,000 pounds of scallops in limited access areas. That limit has not been reached in 2015 due to smaller-sized scallops, but models predict landings upwards of 60,000 tons by 2019.

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