In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, June 7

Image via NEFSC/NOAA.

  • Some South Shore Massachusetts fishermen have expressed concern about a transition to electronic monitoring. The fishermen quoted in a recent story say they question the cost of electronic monitoring and its effectiveness. They also told reporters that “many local fishermen have sidestepped the federal monitoring requirements by opting to fish in state waters.” Others, including fishermen and environmental groups, believe that electronic monitoring can be a good option for providing verifiable data.
  • A group of American and Canadian scientist released a report on Monday in regards to Sweden’s proposal to name American lobster as an invasive species in the European Union. The report says that the proposal is “not supported by the best available science,” and an import ban is not warranted. The scientists said that data would need to show the lobsters’ ability to not only survive, but “thrive” in European waters, which has not been the case.
  • NOAA announced over $11 million in Saltonstall-Kennedy grants for 2016. The agency has recommended 22 projects from the Greater Atlantic region, but not all who are recommended will receive funding. The Saltonstall-Kennedy program “fund projects that address the needs of fishing communities, optimize economic benefits by building and maintaining sustainable fisheries, and increase other opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable.”
  • NOAA Fisheries recently released a Marine Aquaculture Strategic Plan that focuses on “regulatory efficiency, improving tools and technology, and keep the public informed.” The plan sets a goal of increasing U.S. aquaculture production by 50 percent by 2020.
  • NOAA Fisheries issued two proposed rules designating critical habitat for endangered and threatened populations of Atlantic sturgeon, as is required by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Included in the proposed rule is important river habitat for the Gulf of Maine population segment. As stated by NOAA, “critical habitat does not create preserves or refuges,” but rather federal agencies must work with NOAA to “avoid or minimize potential impacts” to the habitat.
  • NOAA Fisheries selected two research proposals from the 2016-2016 Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program, awarding approximately $3.37 million. The proposals were submitted by five researchers from four institutions and will “investigate monkfish biology to help improve the stock assessment.” The researchers will work in coordination with commercial fishermen.
  • In a keynote speech to the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce last week, Senator King outlined what he believes to be the top five challenges facing Maine. Included on his list is the threat of climate change and ocean acidification to Maine’s lobster and shellfish populations.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Committee will meet this Thursday in Boston, MA. Some discussion items on the agenda are northern windowpane flounder, a Georges Bank haddock catch cap for the Atlantic herring fishery, and groundfish monitoring. The meeting is open to the public.
  • A local NPR station highlighted a new kelp aquaculture venture, Maine Fresh Sea Farms, which now grows three varieties of kelp and is “yielding its first full harvest.” The venture sells fresh to the market, receiving up to $15 per pound.


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