- In the News
- » Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 28
In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 28
Atlantic herring are an important food source for whales and other marine life in New England. Image via NOAA.
- President Trump signed two executive orders this week targeting our country’s national monuments. The first, signed Wednesday, orders the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review all national monuments 100,00 acres or larger and designated after 1996. An interim report is due 45 days after the signing and a final report is due in 120 days. The second, signed Friday, is aimed at expanding offshore oil and gas development but also order Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to review all marine national monuments established or expanded in the last ten years. That includes the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
- In an effort to prevent illegal lobstering, the Maine Department of Marine Resources is considering secretly installing GPS tracking devices on suspicious vessels. Some Maine lobstermen testified in support of the bill that’s before the Legislature. One said, “It is coming to a point where violence will happen and I don’t want to see it happen.” DMR officers would still need probable cause of a violation in order to install a tracker. Violations include fishing more than 800 traps or hauling other fishermen’s traps.
- NOAA announced this week that 41 humpback whales died along the Atlantic coast last year. Researchers will be investigating what they are calling an “unusual mortality event.” A recent study also revealed that whale and boat collisions in New England may be more common that previously thought. Data showed that 15 percent of humpback whales in New England had injuries or scars indicative of vessel strikes.
- At its April meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council approved alternatives for Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The Council approved nine alternatives addressing localized depletion and user conflict in the herring fishery as well as two options to establish an ABC control rule for setting specifications and catch limits in the fishery. The alternatives and options will now be further analyzed, and the Council is expected to select preferred alternatives in September.