In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 13

Entanglement in fishing gear is a major threat to endangered right whales. Image via NOAA.

  • Hakai Magazine featured a colorful article on the rise of New Bedford’s Codfather, Carlos Rafael. The article walks you through Rafael’s life from when he first moved to the United States from Portugal to the launch of his Carlos Seafood to his most recent arrest and indictment. The article depicts Carlos as a man who knows how to cheat the system by misreporting his catch or refusing to pay the amount he bid at auction. An audio version of the article is also available.
  • Due to bad weather, Maine scallop fishermen will be allowed to fish an extra day. The Maine scallop season has been strong so far and four areas have already been closed because they reached their harvest limits.
  • A ban on lobster gear meant to protect migrating North Atlantic right whales is now in its third year. For three months starting February 1, a 3,000 square mile area off South Shore Massachusetts will be closed to all lobster traps. Fishermen say that the closure places an unfair economic burden on them and have been working with scientists to develop new gear that may allow them to keep their traps in the water.
  • With strict cod quotas, some fishermen are trying new techniques to target other species rather than choosing not to fish. Local fishermen participated in a trial of a new net that targets flatfish such as flounder while avoiding cod. The initial results look promising with one fishermen reporting that they “were able to avoid around half the cod, compared to a traditional net.” The Gulf of Maine Research Institute developed three of the new nets and they are offering them to fishermen for free on a trial basis.
  • The National Fisheries Institute and other members of the seafood industry sued the federal government over the new rules intended to reduce, and hopefully prevent, seafood fraud and mislabeling. The new rule requires improved tracking of priority species, including data on where and when the fish were caught. Those suing argue that the rule “is an onerous and expensive burden.” The rule will go into effect January 1, 2018.

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