In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, November 1

A memorial statue to fishermen lost at sea looks out on the water in Gloucester, MA. Image via NOAA.

  • The National Marine Fisheries Service finalized the 2016-2018 river herring and shad catch caps for the Atlantic herring fishery, as proposed by the New England Fishery Management Council. The caps are gear- and area-specific.
  • At its meeting last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission was expected to submit a proposal for public comment that would seek to rebuild the southern New England lobster population. Instead, ASMFC decided to conduct outreach to the industry about the proposal first before opening it up to the public in February.
  • An ASMFC scientific committee recommended extending the moratorium on Maine’s shrimp fishery for another year because of “poor prospects for the near future.” Low populations have forced managers to close the fishery since 2013. ASMFC managers will meet on November 10th in Portsmouth, NH to decide.
  • The Casco Bay-based company Ocean Approved received state approval to convert its temporary commercial kelp farm located off Chebeague Island into a ten-year lease. Paul Dobbins, the President of Ocean Approved, told the Portland Press Herald that the new lease would not change their farming on-site, but provides more certainty for the business and more product to support their processing operations. Ocean Approved currently produces 87,000 pounds of kelp a year and is helping others to expand their kelp production.
  • This week marks 25 years since the crew of Gloucester’s Andrea Gail was lost a sea during a nor’easter. The ship and its crew gained national fame from the novel and film, “The Perfect Storm.” The exact story of what happened is unknown, however, since there were no communications with the vessel.
  • There have been reports of lobster traps being cut in Maine waters, specifically in the Newbury Neck area, and the number of incidents appear to be escalating. The Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources Patrick Keliher said that it has been an issue since early summer. A $15,000 reward is being offered for helpful information. The Daily Progress reported: “Marine Patrol Colonel Jon Cornish says the incidents represent the most expensive loss of gear he’s seen in three decades.”
  • As rockweed harvesting becomes more popular in Maine coastal waters, it is also becoming an increasingly controversial issue. Some residents say that they own the rockweed that is located in the intertidal zone since their property extends to the low tide line. Harvesters, however, say they have the right to harvest it as a marine organism under Maine law. There is currently a lawsuit underway to find an answer. The Portland Press Herald recently covered this story.


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