In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 1

Atlantic puffins. Image via DOI.

  • Scientist from the Audubon Society say that 2017 was the most productive nesting season for Atlantic puffins in Maine yet, the colony increasing to 172 pairs from 150. The scientists say that slightly cooler water temperatures improved prey availability for the puffins. Dr. Steven Kress told the Associated Press, however, that there is still “a reason to be concerned because there still is a long-term trend toward warming waters.”
  • Last week, NOAA Fisheries withdrew approval of Northeast Fishing Sector IX (Carlos Rafael’s old sector), shutting it down for the remainder of the fishing year. The Gloucester Daily Times reports, “NOAA Fisheries said in a statement the sector was derelict in its compliance of the previously approved plans and that noncompliance helped Rafael, known as The Codfather, misreport the scope and nature of his catch in a scam that led to his federal conviction and 46-month jail sentence.” The sector has until May 1, 2018 to develop a new operating plan.
  • A new NOAA Fisheries website, “Community Resilience in the Greater Atlantic Regoin,” is aimed at strengthening fishing communities. The website focuses on how to adapt to climate change, changing fish stocks, changing working waterfronts, and other regulatory, environmental, and economic challenges. Check out the website here.
  • Some fishermen and Maine representatives had hoped for a “modest commercial fishery,” but the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to keep the Northern shrimp fishery closed in 2018. This is the fourth consecutive year that the fishery is closed due to low population. A Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries representative said, “I want to give this stock a chance to recover a few more years.”
  • A public meeting for the Council’s performance review was held in Gloucester this week. Attendance was low, but local fishermen made their feelings clear, as they have in many previous meetings. The Gloucester Daily Times reports that the comments “revolved around a strong belief among local fishermen that management decisions affecting the fishery are made well before the council convenes it public meetings and the scientific data and on-the-water-expertise of local fishermen are ignored or demeaned when it comes to forming policy.” The panel reviewing the Council’s performance will convene in 2018 to discuss the results.

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