In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 1

A North Atlantic right whale entangled in fishing line. Image via NOAA.

  • Carlos Rafael’s wife, Conceicao Rafael, filed a petition in federal court claiming ownership of half the vessels that are subject to forfeiture. She said she owns 50 percent of eight vessels and three companies and claims that she didn’t know any of them were involved in illegal activity. As Rafael’s sentencing date approaches, her claim only further complicates the case.
  • Lobsterman are facing an Atlantic herring bait shortage again this summer. However, two Maine lobster co-ops and The Nature Conservancy are working together to test using frozen alewives as lobster bait. Alewives are typically used as bait in the spring time. If successful, the frozen alewives could provide an alternative to Atlantic herring which in recent years has been in short supply in the later summer months.
  • At least 13 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales have died off the coast of Canada and New England this year, a devastating loss for a species whose population is only around 500. NOAA has officially declared the deaths as an “unusual mortality event.” NOAA officials are now conducting an investigation into the cause of the deaths, although it’s already known that some have died from ship strike or entanglement in fishing gear.
  • Environmental police on Cape Cod issued criminal summons to five recreational fishermen last week for exceeding catch limits of striped bass. Recreational fishermen are only allowed to take one striped bass per day if it’s larger than 28 inches. The environmental police confiscated 330 pounds of bass from the fishermen and also seized fishing gear.

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