In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 13

Lobster are heating up in New England. Photo Credit: Zachary Whalen/Flickr.

  • Carlos Rafael pleaded not guilty to 27 counts of conspiracy and cash smuggling. His bail bond was increased to $2 million, to which his attorney agreed. A Bristol County sheriff’s deputy was also indicted on charges for his involvement in the case.
  • The month-long delay of spring fish population surveys conducted by the Henry B. Bigelow research vessel have some concerned about the data’s application in fishery management decisions. Many fishermen already question the data, and environmental advocates are worried that some fishermen may “use the delay as ammunition to dispute validity.”
  • Greenpeace has called Ray Hilborn, a professor at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, a “denier of overfishing.” Hilborn is an outspoken fisheries scientist who often criticizes marine conservation efforts. He failed to disclose that over 12 years he has received $3.56 million in funding from the fishing and seafood industry. Hilborn told NPR, “I’ve made no secret about [my funding].”
  • A recent story from WBUR highlight the electronic monitoring pilot program taking place in New England’s groundfish industry. 14 boats throughout New England will participate in the program, utilizing on-board cameras to record their catch rather than on-board human monitors. The pilot program is to test the feasibility of electronic monitoring.
  • The Wall Street Journal highlighted ongoing research efforts that strive to understand the economic impact of climate change and shifting fish populations on fishermen. Fish along the east coast have been shifting northward in search of cooler waters, including black sea bass and lobster.
  • An editorial from the Portland Press Herald discussed the plight of New England lobsters as the populations face increasingly warmer and more acidic ocean waters. The editorial also discusses the research efforts aimed at preventing a population collapse and the great importance of doing so due to the value of Maine lobster landings. The final message is, “We have to be prepared.”
  • Scallop fishermen reached their quota in the northern Gulf of Maine, and the area will be closed until February 28, 2017. An analyst from the New England Fishery Management Council told AP, “It’s unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the availability or price of scallops nationally.”


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