In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 15

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is encouraging recreational anglers to recycle their synthetic fishing line. Image via Mass DMF.

  • Maine lobstermen who fish within 3 miles of shore do not fill out federal catch reports or have onboard tracking systems, which makes it difficult for planners and regulatory agencies to understand important lobstering areas. Lobstermen enjoy this “freedom,” but it can make permitting processes more difficult. As part of the Northeast regional planning process, the Island Institute who recently released a spatial characterization of Maine’s lobster fishery is trying to fill the data gap that exists for lobstering in Maine and New England.
  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries wants to promote recycling of recreational monofilament fishing line through its new Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. The goal of the program is “to create a network of marked recovery bins at popular fishing locations throughout the state,” reported the Gloucester Daily Times. DMF also wants to educate recreational fishermen about the impact of synthetic fishing line on wildlife.
  • The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the resolution proposed by Senators Angus King and Susan Collins to designate September 25,, 2016 as “National Lobster Day” for the second consecutive year. National Lobster Day is a day “to recognize the economic and cultural importance of the lobster industry,” stated Senator King’s press release. The resolution was co-sponsored by numerous other New England senators.
  • NOAA Fisheries announced the common pool area closure for Georges Bank cod, effective July 13th as of 4:15pm. The agency projected that the common pool fishery had caught 90 percent of its quota for Trimester 1. The closure is in effect through August 31.
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources Commission Patrick Keliher recently sat down for an interview with MaineBiz to discuss Maine’s fishing industry. Mr. Keliher states that “the changing ocean environment is a major challenge” for the industry and answered other questions on lobster, shrimp, and aquaculture.
  • The bipartisan northeast congressional delegation, with the exception of Vermont, signed a letter to President Obama declaring support for the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan and “the Administration’s efforts to advance the ocean planning process.” The lawmakers indicate three elements of the Plan that they found particularly important: new data on regional ocean uses, commercial needs, and future industry trends; collaboration between states, tribes, and federal agencies to allow for better decision-making; and access to marine life and habitat data.
  • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management developed a new webpage that will serve to provide updates to the commercial fishing industry on Atlantic offshore renewable energy planning and leasing efforts. The webpage also includes an interactive map that allows users to zoom into areas and turn layers on and off.
  • Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region John Bullard wrote a letter to the editor in the Gloucester Daily Times. Mr. Bullard’s letter was written in response to a previous one that expressed concern over academics receiving more Saltonstall-Kennedy grants than local fishermen. While Mr. Bullard indicated that that is true, he emphasized that fishing industry representatives often partner with academics on grant applications and that grants funded address the needs of local fishermen and their communities. He then goes on to explain the application process.

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