In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 10

Atlantic bluefin tuna swimming through Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Greg Skomal, NOAA Sanctuaries.

  • A number of towns on Cape Cod have signed a letter to the New England Fishery Management Council urging it to establish a buffer zone to keep midwater trawl vessels offshore. The buffer zone would protect inshore populations of forage fish and could be between 12 and 50 miles from shore. The letter was drafted by the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance and has now been signed by Orleans, Harwich, Brewster, Provincetown, Chatham, and Eastham.
  • Carlos Rafael, the Codfather, reported to federal prison this week to begin his 46-month sentence. Rafael pled guilty to falsifying fish quotas, conspiracy, and tax evasion. The civil penalties associated with Rafael’s crimes and the fate of his forfeited permits have yet to be decided.
  • Environmental groups and fishermen are both advocating for improved management of Atlantic menhaden, with a big vote approaching next week at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Baltimore, MD. The ASMFC will vote on managing menhaden for their role as a forage fish as well as set new catch limits.
  • Atlantic bluefin tuna numbers are increasing. One fishermen told the Bangor Daily News that they reached their quota in half the time compared to years past. He said the tuna were attracted to large schools of forage fish close to shore. Some scientists agree that an increase is happening and say that the quota may be increased – slowly. Some environment groups, however, want the quota to be reduced so that the population can continue to rebuild.

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