In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 8

Science clearly supports a need for better ecosystem-based management. Image via NOAA/NEFSC.

  • NOAA approved new slippage reporting requirements in the Atlantic herring fishery as specified in Framework Adjustment 4 to the Atlantic herring fishery management plan. Vessels will be required to record slippage amounts in daily reports starting May 4, 2016. Slippage is defined as “catch discarded prior to sampling by an observer.” Subsequently, depending on the reason for slippage, the vessel must either return to port or move 15 nautical miles away from the reported location.
  • A recent story on WCAI, the local NPR for the Cape, the Coast, and the Islands, reported on the impacts of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean – i.e. ocean acidification – on local oyster populations, as well as corals. As reported by WCAI, according to a recent NOAA report, the two biggest threats the New England fisheries are ocean acidification and warming ocean temperatures.
  • Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection extended its ban on harvesting river herring – alewives and blueback herring – from most state waters due to low populations. The ban has been in place since April 2002 and has been extended each year since. Last year’s herring run was “the worst on record,” according to the Chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources.
  • NOAA released for public comment a proposed increase to the northern red hake catch limit and a proposed decrease to the southern red hake catch limit for 2016-2017. The modifications, as recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council, are based on updated science from stock assessments conducted in 2015. Comments are being accepted until April 22, 2016.
  • NOAA Fisheries and NEFMC selected 15 sea scallop research set-aside projects for 2016-2017. Grants, valued at a total $15.6 million, will be awarded to 25 researchers from nine organizations. The research projects help support scallop resource management.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $1.2 million in funding for aquaculture research aimed at developing “environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture in the United States.” According to a USDA press release, the aquaculture industry needs more research in genetics, disease, production systems, and economics in order to grow and help the U.S. produce more of its own seafood.
  • The Executive Vice President of the world’s largest scallop firm said that U.S. scallop supply will remain low for 2016, which will keep prices high, but is expected to increase in 2017. He predicts lower prices towards the end of the year. The 2016 total allowable catch for the fishery is 36.8 million pounds.
  • The U.S. Labor Department filed a suit against Zeus Packing Inc. and Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, both located on Gloucester’s waterfront, for failure to pay overtime to their workers. The Department is seeking over $200,000 in damages, in addition to the already back-paid wages of $203,998. The business’ owner is fighting the damages payment.


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