In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 26

A scientist thinks aquaculture may be the solution to protect clams from green crabs. Photo by David Reed (dreed41) via Flickr.

  • Carlos Rafael’s sentencing trial has been delayed to July 28 at the request of the defendant. Rafael said he needs more time to gather his financial records. Rafael pled guilty to falsifying fish quota, conspiracy, and tax evasion. He could face up to 76 months in prison and over $100,000 in restitution. Many have weighed in on the fate of his fishing permits including John Pappalardo of Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance and the Environmental Defense Fund.
  • A new NOAA study found that temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are warming, which could cause trouble for many key commercial fish species that thrive in the cool water habitat. The study says that lobsters, however, may actual benefit from the change. The species likely to face negative impacts include cod, haddock, redfish, plaice, and pollock. The scientists emphasize though that the study only examines the amount and location of thermally appropriate habitat and there are many other factors that could affect the future population of species.
  • Clam landings are feeling the effects of invasive green crabs overtaking the mudflats. Due to the recent mild winters green crabs have been thriving, and in 2016, clam landings declined to the lowest reported since 1991 (some decline can be attributed to a toxic algal bloom). Brian Beal, a University of Maine marine ecologist, however, believes that aquaculture can provide a solution for clammers. He uses netted boxes where the clam larvae can settle while being protected from the crabs. But some remain still skeptical of Beal’s method since the clamming industry has remained unchanged for a long time.
  • In developing the Deep-Sea Coral Amendment, it seems that the original financial impact to Maine’s lobster fishery is higher than originally estimated. At the public hearing in Ellsworth, ME on Thursday, a lobster representative said the impact of closures in the Gulf of Maine could be $8-9 million. It was originally estimated to be $4.2 million. Around 75 lobstermen attended the hearing to support a lobster exemption from the closures.

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