In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 2

Irish moss is a common type of seaweed found in New England. Image via NOAA.

  • Demand for Maine lobsters this year has kept prices high, even through the summer and fall months when prices typically decrease due to more supply. Lobstermen have been earning at or above $4 per pound, which was the historical high from 2004-2007, before the recession. Warmer waters have brought more lobsters to inshore waters, and more casual restaurants, as well as food trucks, are offering lobster on their menu.
  • The nonprofit group, Marine Mammals of Maine, retrieved the bones of the recently deceased 43-foot right whale from a compost pile at Benson Farm Earth Products. The whale died in September after becoming entangled in fishing gear. The nonprofit group hopes the bones can be reassemble for an educational exhibit, reports WRAL.
  • According to a blog from the Island Institute, seaweed abundance in the Gulf of Maine is higher than it has been in ten years. During surveys this summer, scientists noted an increased abundance of Irish moss and kelp/brown algae, compared to 2004 surveys. They attribute the increase of seaweed to a decrease in sea urchins.
  • Tensions have been high between Maine commercial lobstermen over “trap wars” between Maine Lobster Management Zones B and C. Trap-cutting has become a major issue between the two zones, reaching an estimated $350,000 loss of gear. State Representative Brain Hubell (D-Bar Harbor) has proposed various policy changes to DMR Commission Patrick Keliher. He also “filed a bill request with the Maine Legislature that would prohibit new commercial license holders from fishing outside of their primary zone,” reported Mount Desert Islander. Maine has a seven lobster zones.
  • Maine’s scallop diving season opened on Thursday. Divers represent only a small fraction of those in the industry, though. The state’s scallop harvest is still dominated by dragger boats, and their season beings on Monday. For the last three consecutive years, the industry has harvested over 450,000 pounds of scallops.
  • In a recent op-ed, Captain Dave Monti praised the development and implementation of a Rhode Island Seafood brand. He says that the brand, four years in the making, will not only benefit those in the industry but also Rhode Island consumers who get to eat locally grown or landed seafood. He hopes the brand will help the state’s economy.

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