In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 1

Atlantic salmon in a Maine river. Image via NOAA Fisheries.

  • Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon was listed as an endangered species in 2000, and this week NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft recovery plan for the species. The plan includes a set of actions and criteria that would hopefully allow the species to first move from endangered to threatened status under the Endangered Species Act and to be ultimately removed from the list. The agencies are accepting comments on the draft Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan until May 31, 2016.
  • A new study from Northeast Fisheries Science Center reveals that the quantity and quality of prey species have been altered by changing ocean conditions over the last 40 years. The researchers think that these changes have influenced the abundance of important species in the region such as Atlantic salmon. For example, shelf waters across the Northwest Atlantic became fresher and more stratified during the early 1990s, which led to a shift in phytoplankton populations. This shift had effects all the way up the food chain.
  • There are only five full-time groundfishermen left in the New Hampshire, according to WMUR. The fishermen say that tight quotas and regulations made it too difficult to stay in the industry. David Goethel, a NH groundfishermen, told WMUR that there are some boats that switched to fishing for other species, but there are “a number of boats that will not be back.”
  • The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership released a study on “The Importance of Benthic Habitats for Coastal Fisheries.” The researchers examined the importance of habitat for shelter, feeding, and breeding. One finding was that “the ecological importance of soft sediments to fish and invertebrates has been widely undervalued,” and the researchers recommended that habitats be “managed as an interconnected ecosystem rather than in isolation.”
  • NOAA Fisheries is currently accepting applications for its Fisheries Finance Program. The program has $100 million in lending authority and “offers long-term fixed interest rate loans to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries.” Projects for the commercial fishing industry may include purchasing an existing vessel or vessel equipment and upgrades to improve catch data collection.

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