In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, November 29

The Atlantic sea scallop fishery is one of the most valuable in the country. Image via NOAA.

  • Lobstermen are worried about the New England Fishery Management Council’s plan to protect deep-sea coral habitat in the Gulf of Maine, particularly in the areas of Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridge. Many lobstermen from Maine currently use these waters that would potentially be closed to fishing, and they are concerned about the economic impact this might have. The Council still needs to do more analysis, and there will be public hearings on the plan in the spring.
  • Local fishermen and scientists have been working together to assess the potential impacts of the Block Island wind farm on fish populations and the fishing industry. The wind farm is expected to start generating electricity very soon. Fishermen have been conducting monthly trawl surveys over the last four and a half years with scientists on board who analyze the catch. They collect data on species, weight, and length. Both the fishermen and scientists were hired by Deepwater Wind who developed the wind farm. As reported by RI Public Radio, the principal scientist of the team said, “It’s too early to see trends.”
  • Attorneys for Carlos Rafael, “the Codfather,” and his co-defendant Antonio Freitas filed motions for their seafood fraud cases to be tried separately. As reported by the Gloucester Daily Times, the motion filed by Rafael’s defense attorney states, “A joint trial presents a serious risk of compromising Mr. Rafael’s Sixth Amendment confrontation rights in light of incriminating evidence made to law enforcement by Mr. Freitas.” The only count that the two are indicted on together is cash smuggling. Rafael was indicted on a total of 27 criminal counts.
  • An op-ed in the Cape Cod Times highlights the threat of ocean acidification to New England’s coast, in particular its shellfish industry. It has the potential to impact the region’s economy and culture. The authors emphasize the need for more research, network building, and new policies.
  • The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety is designing a new life jacket for New England lobstermen. This winter season, researchers hope to recruit lobstermen who are willing to test out different kinds of vests. Lobstermen will be compensated for their participation and will get to keep the vest. A recent study showed that only 16 percent of lobstermen use a life jacket while working. The researchers hope to change that by making one that is comfortable and does not get in the way.

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