In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 6

Sea scallop with 100 eyes at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo Credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS

  • Civil penalty cases for two scallop vessels were recently resolved and each paid fines for fishing in closed areas in 2013 and 2014, which is a violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The fishing vessel Crystal Girl B was caught fishing in Closed Area I in 2013 and was fined $40,750. The fishing vessel Warrior was caught fishing in Closed Area II Essential Fish Habitat in 2014 and was fined $39,360.
  • The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to conduct research on Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank lobster stocks. ASMFC’s technical committee will analyze issues such as changing Gulf of Maine ocean currents so to protect the stock from a collapse similar to southern New England stocks.
  • According to a report from the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, restaurants can charge an average $6.22 for Maine lobster, and people will pay. How chefs use lobster is expanding from traditional food pairings such as butter to dishes like Pico de Gallo. The Portland Press Herald reports, “only a quarter of all restaurants identify the origin of their lobster dishes…but most of those who do are selling Maine lobster.”
  • Bill Karp, director of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, has announced his retirement for September. He has thirty years of fisheries research experience, but was only director of NEFSC for four years.
  • In an effort to reduce unintentional catch of Jonah crabs, ASMFC set a 1,000 pound bycatch limit for trawl and net fishermen. Jonah crabs are used in processing products and are a substitute for Dungeness and stone crabs. The bycatch limit will be effective January 1.
  • WCAI reports that fishermen around the world catch more than 7 million tons of bycatch each year. A recent story from WCAI highlighted work being done in the region to help minimize bycatch such as designing better fishing gear, working with fishermen to reduce vessel speed, and using acoustic devices that “warn away dolphins.”
  • The Associated Press reports that Maine’s 2016 scallop season “is likely to go down as another strong year.” After populations dwindled in 2009, Maine’s scallop fishery has been steadily rebuilding. State fishery managers attribute the growth to new regulations and a rotational management system. In the 2015 season, dock prices for scallops were a record$12.70 per pounds, and 2016 scallops sold for a similar price.
  • The fifth annual Alewife Festival will take place in Benton, Maine on May 13-14. The festival is fun for all ages and features lobster and smoked alewives, as well as alewife harvest demonstrations.

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