In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 16

June 8th is World Oceans Day! This is an image of a common octocoral found on the New England Seamounts that forms beautiful spirals as it grows. Image via NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program (2014).

  • President Obama made history yesterday by designating the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument as the first marine national monument in the U.S. Atlantic. He made the official announcement at the 3rd annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington DC. The designation closely follows the recent expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off Hawaii. The White House said, “These actions reflect President Obama’s commitment to the goals of combatting climate change and protecting our ocean, in a way that respects local communities, economies and native practices.”
  • The New England Fishery Management Council meets next week for its September full Council meeting in Danvers, MA. The public is welcome to attend or you can listen in via webinar.
  • The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act has helped to make the U.S. fisheries among the best managed in the world. The Center for American Progress released a new report “looking at the successes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and offering science-based recommendations to maintain and improve the health of U.S. fisheries over the next 10 years.”
  • Two lobstermen were arrested in Maine for “fishing untagged lobster traps, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with a witness,” reported the Bangor Daily News. An investigation found a total of 40 unmarked traps that were being used.
  • Maine fishing regulators are hosting a series of public hearings to collect comments on the proposed scallop rules for the upcoming season. The rules would maintain the same quota as last year and close several areas. The public comment period is open until October 12.
  • Mount Desert Island lobstermen oppose shortening the wait time for acquiring a lobstering license. Currently, an apprentice must wait for five licenses to be turned in before one becomes available. A local lobster council surveyed lobstermen in the area asking if they would support switching to a three-to-one ratio.
  • A hiking trail at the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery in Ellsworth, ME was dedicated to Ed Hastings, a former NOAA researcher who led salmon tagging efforts and passed away in 2006. Mr. Hastings coordinated the logistics of tagging 350,000 salmon for the agency over five years.
  • Kepley Biosystems, the developer of the artificial lobster bait “OrganoBait,” will test its product in Nova Scotia later this year. The bait will be tested in up to 200 lobster traps.
  • Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google launched the new monitoring technology “Global Fishing Watch.” The tool allows users to track commercial fishing vessels in near real-time to curb illegal fishing and help rebuild fish stocks.
  • Massachusetts Environmental Police confiscated an undersized bluefin tuna during a routine inspection of fishing vessels on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary this week. The tuna was donated to a Boston-area homeless shelter.

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