In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, April 26

In New England, Atlantic cod has been overfished and subject to overfishing for decades. Image via NOAA.

  • The “Codfather” Carlos Rafael remains in the news. In a story last FriThe day, WCAI highlighted Rafael’s fraud case to discuss monitoring in the groundfish fishery. The story discussed the funding shift to the industry and the new electronic monitoring pilot program.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee set aside $3 million in federal funding for electronic monitoring technology development and installation in the fishing industry. Joshua Wiersma of the Environmental Defense Fund, who testified for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in March, said this “is a step in the right direction.”
  • Counters are hopeful that the number of migrating river herring in Cape Cod waters will be high this year. The season began with a surge in mid-March due to warmer temperatures and picked up again at the beginning of April. Volunteers will count the herring runs daily until the end of May.
  • The Westerly Sun reported on the eel industry in Rhode Island. Tribes in the area historically fished for eels, and now their numbers are improving again with the removal of dams. Most eels in Rhode Island are used as bait for recreational fishing.
  • Maine’s elver fishery is off to a strong start this season and is already out-performing 2015. This year’s more favorable weather has given fishermen more opportunity to harvest. Fishermen caught less than 5,300 pounds of a 10,000 pound quota last year. Fishermen this year have already exceeded 5,500 pounds. Prices have dropped from $2,172 per pound to $1,364 per pound.
  • U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (CT) said that the Commerce, Science, Justice, and Related Agencies’ appropriations bill passed last week includes funding for NOAA’s Milford lab, one of two NOAA labs conducting aquaculture research. Senator Murphy told the Westerly Sun that the bill “sends a strong message about Congress’ commitment to the $30 million aquaculture industry in Connecticut.”
  • The New England Fishery Management Council voted on multiple actions related to the sea scallop regulations at its Council meeting last week, but small boat scallopers are still worried. Two scallopers don’t think that regulations will move fast enough to prevent large vessels from over-harvesting scallop beds. Once cleared, it would then take several years for the populations to rebuild.
  • An op-ed in the Portland Press Herald discusses why the Clean Water Rule is important for fisheries and fishermen who rely on healthy populations. The author states that without clean water, the effects will not only be limited to the fish, such as herring and Atlantic salmon, and those in the industry; the consumer will be affected as well.


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