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In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 29
A harbor seal pup. Photo Credit: NOAA
- After five year as NOAA’s Northeast Regional Administrator, John Bullard is set to retire. The Boston Globe reports, “Bullard has been accused of everything from destroying the livelihoods of the region’s groundfishermen…to being too cozy with the seafood industry…Yet many of those who denounced Bullard, a gregarious former mayor of New Bedford known for his sometimes windy, history-infused speeches, say they can’t help but like the man.” Read more here.
- Nearly one-third of the fishermen lost at sea between 2000 and 2013 had fallen overboard – none of them wearing a life preserver. Fishermen are not required to wear life preservers, but the recent sinking of the Misty Blue has people asking, why not? Some say that life preservers are uncomfortable or may get in the way, reports the Boston Globe, others don’t want to be further regulated. Many life preservers these days, however, are designed to be comfortable and stay out of the way. Fishermen and Council member Terry Alexander told the Globe, “We need a culture change. They’re easy enough to wear, and there’s no excuse not to wear them. As far as I’m concerned, it should be a requirement.”
- NOAA Fisheries is accepting proposals for its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program. The program, now in its tenth year, funds collaborative research projects focused on gear modifications, avoidance techniques, and post-release mortality, among others. Approximately $2.4 million is available in federal funding for the program this year. Pre-proposals are due by January 31, 2018.
- The Chatham fish pier, one of the Massachusetts’ busiest, will be getting a remodel. A $1.2 million proposal that was approved last week nearly doubles the size of the observation deck and adds an elevator. It will also make working conditions safer and cleaner for the fishermen. Construction is expected to begin next fall. It’s estimated that 3,000 people a day visit the pier during the summer months.