In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 13

The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most of the world's ocean areas. Image via NOAA.

  • The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been awarded $700,000 from NOAA to study the impact of lobster gear on North Atlantic right whales and collect “better real-world data.” DMR will use the funds for a multiyear study in which boats throughout New England will participate. Many Maine lobstermen, however, have said that they do not think their gear is responsible for any whale deaths.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council is meeting in Mystic, CT next week for its April 2018 full council meeting. Topics to be discussed include groundfish monitoring, the Council program review, Northeast Fishery Sector 9, Atlantic herring, among others. Find more information here.
  • Bay State Wind has announced $2 million in grants to support research on fisheries and whale protection: $1 million for a marine science grant program to address fishing industry concerns, $500,000 for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to develop whale detection technology, $250,000 to the New England Aquarium and the Lobster Foundation each to study right whale entanglement. Bay State Wind is competing for first Massachusetts contract for offshore wind along with Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind who have also both announced funding for research, conservation, and job training efforts.
  • The occurrence of shell disease in Maine lobsters has slightly increased in recent years. Numbers are still very low – around 1 percent – and researches say “it’s not time to sound the alarm.” Of particular note, however, is that the two most recent years with the highest occurrence of shell disease followed the warmest years in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Maine has updated its response protocol for toxic algae blooms. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says it will immediately close harvesting areas at the first detection of toxins. The state has had to issue recalls of clams and mussels the last two years, and it hopes the new protocol will prevent recalls this year. Read more in the Portland Press Herald.

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