In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 9

Derelict fishing gear is damaging to marine habitat and life. Image courtesy NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition and Deepwater Canyons 2012 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM.]

  • At the request of the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries will begin to survey the southern portion of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area (NGOM) this summer. NGOM was last surveyed in 2012, but a 2016 joint study by Maine Department of Marine Resources and the University of Maine displayed an increase in biomass in the area. Fishing effort in the area has also increased, and the council is hoping the new surveys will help improve the management of the area.
  • On June 8, a joint Canadian and American research expedition boat was launched in the Gulf of Maine with the goal of discovering new habitats and species in need of protection. In particular, researchers are looking for cold-water corals. These corals can be hundreds of years old, grow up to several meters high and support a diverse array of species. They are also highly susceptible to human impacts, including overfishing and harmful fishing gear, making research in the area highly important. Oceana Canada is live streaming the dives so the general public can observe the findings in real time.
  • A compromise has been reached between the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the Maine Lobstermen’s Union regarding a bill that would allow the commissioner of the DMR to secretly place tracking devices on lobster boats. The compromise states that the DMR must have probable cause and a warrant from a judge before placing a tracking device on a boat; however, the DMR does not need consent from the owner. The bill aims to reduce those who violate lobster laws in the Gulf of Maine. The bill was passed in the Maine Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives.

 


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