In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, Jan. 6, 2017
In this edition of Fish Talk in the News: South Shore charter fishermen oppose new shark regulations; 2016 was a tough year for the fishing industry; Rhode Island bans shark finning; Maine seeks more authority in investigations of suspected lobstering violations; Seafood being added to Massachusetts Farm to School project; and NOAA expands ways to get fishing information.
- Some South Shore charter boat captains have expressed concern over proposed rules to protect dusky sharks in the Atlantic. They say that dusky sharks do not exist in their fishing grounds, and the new rules will place a burden on their operations. The proposed rules are the result of a lawsuit from Oceana.
- In a review of 2016, the Gloucester Daily Times reported that “the year didn’t go swimmingly for [the fishing] industry.” A few of the negatives included the issue of industry-funded monitoring, Sweden’s attempt to ban American lobster imports, and the indictment of fishing magnate Carlos Rafael. On the bright side, however, was the very successful launch of the “Gloucester Fresh” marketing campaign.
- NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a proposed rule that is intended “to promote diversity in the groundfish fishery and enhance sector management.” The rule would do so by limiting the number of permits and groundfish allocation that one entity could own. The Gloucester Daily Times reported that some fishermen believe improved stock assessments would also improve fleet diversity.
- Rhode Island banned the selling or ownership of shark fins that are not used for scientific research or “in preparing a shark for ordinary consumption.” Hawaii was the first state to ban the sale of shark fins in 2010, and Rhode Island is the 11th state to follow suit.
- Maine Marine Patrol may soon be able to install electronic surveillance on lobster boats operated by “fishermen suspected of violating state fishing regulations,” reported the Portland Press Herald. The Maine Department of Marine Resources is currently drafting legislation, the details of which will not be released until it is finalized. A similar proposal did not make it out of the legislature two years ago.
- The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries launched its Seafood Marketing Program in August 2016 and is now entering a two-year partnership with the Massachusetts Farm to School Project to bring locally caught seafood to Massachusetts schools. The partnership will also include local seafood cooking demonstrations and the promotion of seafood during the nonprofit’s Harvest of the Month campaign.
- Cape Cod herring run numbers plummeted in 2016, according to estimates from the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Nine out of 23 streams monitored showed a decline in spawners, and only one run showed an increase from the previous spring. Overall, “state numbers broke even,” according to a Division of Marine Fisheries aquatic biologist.
- NOAA Fisheries wants to make fishing information more readily available to industry members and the public. To do so, the agency is providing new communication methods, like the “Fish OnLine” website and regulatory text alerts. Fishery bulletins and information sheets will still be provided as well.