In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 5

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects thriving deep-sea coral communities. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

  • Senator Blumenthal is leading the Connecticut delegation to urge President Obama to designate the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts as a marine national monument – the first in the Atlantic. The delegation sent a letter to the President this week expressing their support for a monument designation. The letter said that a monument will protect species, build resilience to climate change, support the ocean economy, advance science and research, and preserve natural history.
  • NOAA Fisheries has launched a planning process for transitioning spring and fall trawl surveys from NEFSC’s Henry B. Bigelow to industry vessels. NEFSC’s director hopes that “by sharing the responsibility for gathering these data with the fishing industry…there will also come greater shared confidence in the results obtained using them.” The transition time is expected to be five years.
  • ASMFC voted this week to alter shark finning rules for smooth dogfish sharks. Fishermen will be allowed to land dogfish without fins as long as the species makes up 25 percent of their total catch. As reported in the Portland Press Herald, “The rule change better incorporates the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 in management of the dogfish.”
  • ASMFC’s Menhaden Management Board could not come to a final decision on the 2017 coastal catch limit for Atlantic menhaden at its meeting this week. The board will address the issue at its next meeting in October. Menhaden are an important prey species.
  • Larry the Lobster died in transit from Florida to Maine. The 15-pound lobster and been saved from becoming dinner at a restaurant and was being delivered to the Maine State Aquarium. It’s reported that he was not packaged properly.
  • New research suggests that offshore trawlers are responsible for large numbers of river herring and shad bycatch. Millions of dollars have been spent restoring fish passages to historic spawning grounds, but now many worry that this may not be enough.
  • Angela Sanfilippo, a Gloucester-based “Fisherman’s Wife,” will be inducted into the Boston Seafood Hall of Fame at this year’s Boston Seafood Festival. Sanfilippo has been an “unwavering voice of the Gloucester and Massachusetts fishing communities,” reported the Gloucester Daily Times.
  • An op-ed in the Gloucester Daily Times expressed the need to continue the strong, bi-partisan conservation principles of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The authors addressed current initiatives to alter the law, and thereby “loosen effective protections that have been so successful in eliminating overfishing and rebuilding stocks.”

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