In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 12

Atlantic salmon is known as the King of Fish. Image via NOAA Fisheries.

  • An editorial in the South Coast Today “celebrates” the recent NOAA climate study and uses it to discuss the importance of ecosystem-based fisheries management, particularly for Atlantic scallops. The editorial acknowledges that fishermen may be seeing strong populations now, but this is not likely to be true in the “foreseeable future.” It is becoming more important for regulators to include “aspects of the broader environment,” such as ocean temperature and salinity, in their decision-making.
  • At-sea monitoring is still in court, but has turned into a “paper fight.” The plaintiff’s lawyers filed a motion for an expedited hearing while federal lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case. U.S. District Judge Laplante has not made a ruling, but federal lawyers have made clear that the statute of limitations on challenging amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act is only 30 days.
  • Scientists at UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology have expressed confidence in a new video system for assessing Atlantic cod populations. The system, which “uses an open-end fishing net with video cameras on its frame,” recently passed its first major test comparing it to the traditional catch-and-count method.
  • The Massachusetts State Department of Fisheries has partnered with IoT Impact Labs to develop a real-time oyster monitoring program. The program will be used by the Boston-based restaurant Island Creek Oyster Bar. The program will help shellfish farmers monitor water temperature and pH levels.
  • ASMFC approved an addendum to the Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, including a 23 percent cut for recreational harvest of black sea bass. Recreational fishermen and other stakeholders were presented with six options for how this will translate into regulations, which will be decided on next week.
  • ASMFC approved Draft Addendum I to the Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan and has scheduled a round of public hearings in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Maryland. According to ASMFC’s news release, “the intent of the Draft Addendum is to cap incidental landings of Jonah crab while ensuring the inclusion of current participants in the Jonah crab fishery.”
  • In an effort to “reduce, stabilize and reverse the rate of decline,” NOAA Fisheries announced five-year action plans for eight marine species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. One of these species is the Gulf of Maine population of Atlantic salmon. Assistant NOAA Fisheries Administrator Eileen Sobeck said “the action plans will help change the trajectory to recovery for these eight extremely vulnerable species.”
  • A recent study determined that plastic microbead pollution cuts oyster reproduction in half due to the amount of energy required trying to digest the plastic. The scientists studied impacts on Pacific oysters, but plastic pollution is harming our natural environments worldwide. According to the LA Times, there is over 250,000 tons of plastic floating in our oceans.

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