In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 23

A juvenile black sea bass off the north shore of Massachusetts. Black sea bass populations are shifting north due to warming waters. Photo: Alex Shure

  • New Hampshire groundfisherman David Goethel filed an appeal in his lawsuit challenging industry-funded at-sea monitoring in New England’s groundfish fishery. He hopes to overturn the decision made by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante which granted summary judgement to the federal government. Goethel’s original lawsuit argued that industry-funded at-sea monitoring violates several federal statues and the Constitution.
  • The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is launching a new research project collaborating with RI fishermen to collect biological data on black sea bass. Eight fishing vessels will participate in the project and will be asked to collect data from their catch and bycatch in order to “begin to assess the characterization of the catch” and help improve species management, said CFRF’s executive director to RI Public Radio.
  • The United States and Canada have made a deal to split the Atlantic cod total allowable catch for next year. The catch will be set at 730 metric tons; Canada will receive 584 metric tons and the U.S. will receive 146 metric tons, an 80/20 split.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council elected John Quinn and Terry Stockwell as chairman and vice chairman for 2016-2017, respectively. Each have already been serving on the Council but in opposite roles. The Council also welcomed two new members at its meeting, Mark Godfroy of New Hampshire and Richard Bellavance Jr. of Rhode Island.
  • The South Shore Lobster Fisherman’s Association met with Massachusetts legislators and representatives this week to discuss reopening seasonal closure areas, which were originally implemented to protect migrating right whales. The lobstermen want to open some of the closures between February 1 and April 30 during which they will use ropes that are designed to break every 40 feet under 1,575 pounds of pressure. Data shows that by using the ropes, whales are 85 percent less likely to get entangled.
  • A new study by University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences found that lobster larvae are likely to have a higher mortality if Gulf of Maine water temperatures keep rising. The study raised larvae in 66 and 61 degree water. Those raised in the warmer water grew twice as fast, but had far lower survival rates.
  • Only halfway through the season and Maine’s lobster industry has exported $103 million worth of lobster, which is a 113 percent increase from last year. The exports are primarily going to Canada and China.
  • Sunday, September 25th will be celebrated as National Lobster Day for the second year. The day was introduced by Maine Senators King and Collins and “reinforces the hard work, sustainable practices and passion of Maine’s 5,600 independent lobstermen and women,” reported PR Newswire.
  • NOAA Fisheries released a FAQ webpage about the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National monument. On the webpage you can find information about where the monument is, how it will be managed, and what it means for fishermen.

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