In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, September 20

Crustaceans known as sea spiders make their home in the deep coral canyons. Image via NOAA.

  • The Bangor Daily News published an editorial hailing the significance of the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and called for similar protections for Cashes Ledge. The editorial called the presidential proclamation of the first marine national monument in the Atlantic timely given low fish populations for some New England species and rapidly warming waters.
  • Fishermen and the industry are claiming that the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument circumvented the fishery management process and will hurt them economically. The Portland Press Herald reports, however, that “administration officials listened to [the] industry’s concerns and made the monument smaller, with a seven-year transition period for the lobster and red crab industries.” The industry has further questioned why fishing has to stop “if the area is considered pristine,” but Brad Sewell of the Natural Resources Defense Council told the reporter, “You want to protect an area like this when it’s relatively pristine…not wait until damage is done.”
  • The United States and Canada have asked Italy, Spain, and France for their support in opposing the proposed EU ban on American lobster. Italy, Spain, and France import 85 percent of the EU’s American lobster market, which is worth a total of $137.3 million. A Maine industry representative told the Portland Press Herald, “We count on the European market…just like the European consumers count on Maine.”
  • NOAA Fisheries announced the comment period and public hearing schedule for the Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment. The Amendment has been a joint effort by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and would modify all fishery management plans managed by the two councils, allowing for future industry-funded monitoring programs.
  • Ocean leaders from around the world gathered in Washington D.C. last week for the third annual Our Ocean conference. The United States announced numerous commitments to “concrete action to protect precious ocean areas and marine resources.” These commitments include actions for protecting ocean areas, promoting sustainable fisheries, reducing marine pollution, addressing climate and the ocean, and mapping and understanding the ocean. You can see more details here. Overall, the conference concluded with $5.3 billion in pledges for global marine conservation.

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