In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 29

Gulf of Maine cod has been overfished for decades. Image via NOAA.

  • NOAA Fisheries approved Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management plan, establishing 2016-2018 catch limits 20 managed groundfish stocks. The rule, effective May 1st, includes catch limit increases for 10 stocks. At-sea monitoring coverage for 2016 was decreased from 24 to 14 percent.
  • NOAA Fisheries announced the approved five at-sea monitor service providers for the 2016 fishing year. The providers include: A.I.S., Inc.; Atlantic Catch Data Limited; East West Technical Services, LLC; Fathom Research, LLC; and MRAG Americas, Inc. Groundfish fishery regulations require independent third-party monitoring.
  • Research scientists are seeing lobster shell disease slowly affect Maine lobsters, but it is still contained to southern Maine waters. Dr. Richard Whale of the University of Maine told the Bangor Daily News that in 2013 only a few lobsters in a thousands were affected by the disease, but now a few in a hundred are found to be affected. Dr. Whale said warming waters is one contributing factor. The Maine Department of Marine Resources tracks lobster shell disease.
  • The Maine Seafood Network, which includes 36 groundfish fishermen, will begin to plan its “future workforce” by offering training opportunities to fishermen, allowing them to “branch out” during the offseason or when closures are in place. The group is applying for a $50,000 grant from the Maine Technology Institute.
  • Chinese government officials, seafood buyers, and Chinese-American community leaders toured seafood businesses in Gloucester last week. The purpose of the tour was for potential economic development opportunities. In 2014, U.S. lobster exports to China totaled about $90 million.
  • Bob Vanesse, executive director of Saving Seafood, told State House News that NOAA Fisheries is expected to “formally consider” the Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 in May or June. The New England Fishery Management Council finalized the Amendment last year. Peter Shelley of Conservation Law Foundation said that the Amendment “ignore[s] the science and fail[s] to protect important areas in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and southern New England.”

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