In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, December 6

Atlantic bluefin tuna swimming through Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Greg Skomal, NOAA Sanctuaries.

  • Mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna have declined two percent each year over the last eight years, discovered researchers from Stony Brook University. The team collected data from 1,300 frozen samples of western Atlantic bluefin tuna that had been collected between 2004 and 2012. The decline is similar to that of declining mercury pollutions from Midwest coal-fired power plants, which is where most mercury pollution in the northeast originates from.
  • ASMFC and the Maine Department of Marine Resource is hiring five shrimping vessels to participate in a northern shrimp population research project. NH1 reports that fishermen participating in the program will be allowed to land and sell 500 pounds of shrimp a week. The research project will run eight weeks beginning on January 30, 2017.
  • North Atlantic right whales are migrating south for winter and NOAA Fisheries has issued a warning for boaters to be on alert. The agency designated Seasonal Management Areas along the coast in which “vessels greater than 65 feet in length must not exceed speeds of 10 knots.” The management areas will remain in effect through April to reduce the risk of ship strike.
  • The shellfishing ban for Wellfleet oysters has lifted, but people are still worried due to the economic impact of the month-long closure. Officials calculated the economic impact could be “measured in the millions,” reported Boston Globe. The article features one family who lost a third of their annual income as a result of the closure; however, they are hopeful that they will “figure this out.”
  • A fishing vessel fishing near the Great South Channel shipping lanes hauled up remnants of a sunken boat. Now a state official, a professor, a fishing captain, and officials from the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center are trying to figure out where it came from, reported South Coast Today. They guess that its origin is from a sailing ship that dates back to 1850 to 1870. They hope to find out more, but it will take some time. The location where the fishing vessel found the items will be added to a list of potential shipwreck sites.

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