In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 20

A basking sharks approximately 18 miles off Chatham, MA. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/NEOO.

  • The New England Fishery Management Council voted (7/5/5) to recommend that NOAA Fisheries approve the operations plans for Sectors XII and IX so that New Bedford fishermen can earn money and overages resulting from Carlos Rafael’s violations can be repaid. NOAA Fisheries, however, does not expect to issue a rulemaking until mid-summer, and the agency still needs to determine how overages will be repaid.
  • Researchers and rescuers hope that disentanglement efforts this week on Stellwagen Bank will eventually free a well-known right whale from fishing rope. Kleenex, a female and mother, has had rope wrapped around her upper jaw for at least three years, and researchers said she was in poor condition this week. Rescuers used a cutting arrow technique to weaken the rope that they hope will now deteriorate over time.
  • On April 16, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division filed a motion to dismiss the fishermen’s lawsuit that opposed the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The motion says that the President has the authority to designate marine monuments. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, however, has still encouraged President Trump to alter some marine monuments.
  • The New England groundfish fishery has been named as a priority for funding provided by the Fisheries Innovation Fund. The Fund is a program offered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation promoting “innovation in sustainable fisheries through ‘effective participation by fishermen and fishing communities.’” There is $950,000 available nationally and it’s expected that each grant will be between $50,000-100,000.
  • As researchers have been studying right whales since the 1980s, they have also discovered interesting behaviors exhibited by basking sharks, the second largest fish in the world. Basking sharks are often solitary fish and swim in deep water. In southern New England, however, researchers have on occasion seen basking sharks congregating in groups as large as 1,400. One theory is that the sharks are working together to feed on zooplankton. Read more here.

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