In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 7

Witch flounder is also known as gray sole. Image via NEFSC/NOAA.

  • October is National Seafood Month, which NOAA Fisheries says is “a time to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fisheries, and the health benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood.” Go to NOAA Fisheries’ website for news and announcements about National Seafood Month.
  • Researchers in Britain are beginning a two-year study on the impacts of man-made noise on cod communication and breeding. Cod, as well as haddock, use sound to attract males, and the researchers want to know if noises from shipping, wind farm construction, and offshore drilling affect this communication. They will also study if cod have “regional accents,” which might hinder communication between fishing migrating as a result of climate change.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted against including river herring and shad in the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. Instead the Council voted to maintain the current strategies for dealing with bycatch.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council is developing new specifications for monkfish along the east coast. The rules would apply to the next three years and are expected to be approved in November.
  • Ten aquaculture and fisheries experts from Maine are traveling to Japan to learn scallop harvesting techniques and buy machinery. Maine has had a sister state relationship with the Aomori Prefecture on the island of Honshu since 1994. The fisheries project director of Coastal Enterprise Inc. in Portland told MaineBiz, “Japanese scallop enhancement and cultured grow-out is considered to be the most successful and oldest organized effort in the world dating back to the 1930s.”
  • A Port Clyde lobster boat, the Liberty, has been intentionally sunk for the third time in six weeks. The owner was able to retrieve the vessel, which is now undergoing repairs, but he does not expect to get it back in the water for the season. A $2,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved.
  • An op-ed from Don Cuddy, the program director at the Center for Sustainable Fisheries commented on an industry-led trawl survey that caught more flatfish than the NOAA research vessel. Cuddy argues that this shows that NOAA does not use the proper equipment during its trawl surveys, particularly when targeting flatfish.
  • The recreational harvest season for bay scallops in Buzzards Bay has begun, but bay scallop populations have been in decline. The populations, particularly juveniles depend on healthy eelgrass beds, but nitrogen pollution has led to a decline in eelgrass habitat.
  • The White House selected its Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood, including some from New England. These are people who were nominated for making an extraordinary difference in helping America’s fishing industry and fishing communities. You can see the full list here.


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