In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 11

A red crab pot on a coral covered ledge. Image via Peter Auster.

  • NOAA Fisheries sent a reminder notice to permit holders that commercial catch of all species is prohibited in the recently designated Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument effective 12:01am on November 14, 2016. American lobster and Atlantic deep-sea red crab taken with gear are exempted for the next seven years. The permit holders were given a 60-day notice. Recreational fishing is still allowed. You can find more information here.
  • The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has equipped ten Maine lobstermen with acoustic sound technology equipment to help scientists learn where in Maine’s near-shore waters shrimp spend their winters and where they lay their eggs. The lobstermen will conduct monthly surveys during January, February, and March. A GMRI research associate told the Portland Press Herald that high frequencies are good for detecting small shrimp, and sound allows scientists to cover more ground than they would be able to with trawl or trap surveys. The researchers hope to create a time series of data that fishery managers can use.
  • Fishery regulators for the Atlantic State Marine Fishery Management Commission decided to keep Maine’s shrimp fishery closed for the 2017 season. The fishery has been closed since 2013 due to poor reproduction with scientists attribute to warming waters.
  • Mislabeled seafood is a major issue in the global seafood industry, but a new study from the University of Washington found that mislabeled seafood results in people eating a more sustainable option. Science Daily reports that this is because “the substituted fish is often more plentiful and of a better conservation status than the fish on the label.” The study also found that consumers are likely paying more for the mislabeled fish. The researchers hope that the study can be used by consumers to make informed choices about their seafood purchases.
  • The website Eat These Fish! highlights 12 U.S. caught fish species that are a sustainable seafood choice. It also offers tasty recipe ideas for those fish. The website is a campaign by the Environmental Defense Fund and partners that hopes to “connect chefs, restaurateurs, retailers, and consumers with the story of the comeback of our nation’s fisheries.”
  • With a little help from Facebook, a beachcomber in the U.K. was able to trace an orange lobster tag back to its owner in Salisbury Cove, Maine. The lobstermen was not sure when the tag was from exactly but estimated it was about 15-20 years old.
  • Plastic debris in the ocean is a major concern because animals, such as seabirds, often mistake it for food, and many scientists have wondered why this occurs. A recent study published in Science offers the hypothesis that the plastic emits an odor the seabirds associate with food. The study found that birds that rely on the scent of a particular algae-based sulfur compound to find food consume plastic six times more frequently than other birds. The researchers believe that the plastic debris in the ocean becomes coated with the algae and produces the sulfur odor, tricking the seabirds.
  • NOAA Fisheries announced the closure of the Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area for witch flounder. The closure applies to groundfish common pool vessels using trawl gear and is in effect until January 1, 2017.

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