In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, May 10

A school of pollock swim through a kelp forest atop the highest peak on Cashes Ledge, Ammen Rock. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/NEOO.

  • Federal prosecutors indicted Carlos Rafael on 27 counts, including conspiracy, false entries, and bulk cash smuggling. The Office of U.S. Attorney Cameron Ortiz told the Cape Cod Times that Rafael allegedly has falsely reported over 815,000 pounds of fish to the federal government since 2012. If Rafael is found guilty on one or more charge, the federal government will “pursue forfeiture of 13 of Rafael’s vessels and the associated commercial fishing permits,” according to the indictment.
  • The Associated Press reported on the push to rebrand Atlantic pollock in New England as an alternative to Atlantic cod, whose populations have plummeted to historic lows. Atlantic pollock, however, does not have the snow-while appearance that cod fillets do, but rather a gray-pinkish color to which some consumers may find unappealing. Consumers are catching on though; AP reports, “Atlantic pollock’s per pound value increased more than 75 percent” in the last five years.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council released its April/May 2016 Council Report. The report provides details on the NEFMC’s work on habitat, Atlantic herring, industry-funded at-sea monitoring, groundfish, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and more.
  • Maine fishermen have landed almost 80 percent of their elver quota for the year. This year’s quota is 9,688 pounds, the same as last year. Last year, fishermen were short of the quota by over 4,400 pounds.
  • New Hampshire Fish and Game has proposed new Atlantic herring rules for state to come into compliance with ASMFC’s Amendment 3. The proposed rule is in regards to “implementing the Massachusetts/New Hampshire spawning area closure.” A public hearing will be held May 12th at 7pm in Portsmouth, NH.
  • The Nantucket Lightship Area, about 65 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, has been reopened to small boat scallop fishermen. There is a 485 trip limit for the season. The areas has been closed since 2014.
  • ASMFC’s lobster management board recently discussed ideas on how to prevent further decline and improve the health of southern New England lobster populations. Chief of the fisheries division at RI DEM Mark Gibson told Rhode Island Public Radio that “the commission would like to see a 20 to 60 percent increase in egg production.” There was no action associated with the discussion.


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