In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 27, 2018

A red cod and cunner on Cashes Ledge. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/New England Ocean Odyssey.

  • Scientists from University of Rhode Island measured the largest annual algae bloom on record in Narragansett Bay this winter. The increased algae could potentially boost clam, scallop, and other shellfish populations in the bay. This year’s bloom is inconsistent with the recent record as annual blooms have decreased in the last ten years. The Providence Journal reports, though, that this year may be an outlier.
  • The restaurant price for lobster has skyrocketed in recent months. The Boston Globe reports, “A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring…” That’s nearly double last year’s per pound price. Pre-shucked lobster meat is selling for as high as $40 a pound, and that is being reflected on menu prices. According to lobster dealers, March and April are “the tightest market.”
  • Massachusetts Environmental Police seized 132 pounds of illegal cod from a charter boat fishing in Stellwagen Bank. Recreational fishing for Gulf of Maine cod is banned in the area. The Gloucester Daily Times reports, “Police were patrolling in light of the recent opening of the recreational haddock fishery.” All information about the incident was reported to NOAA’s enforcement program, and the cod was donated to a Boston homeless shelter.
  • NOAA Fisheries put the finishing touches on Framework 29 to the Atlantic scallop fishery management plan, which is expected to increase New England scallop harvest by 28 percent. The new rules include annual catch limits, days-at-sea, and sea scallop access area allocations. Scallop harvesters are also now able to access new areas in Closed Area 1 and Nantucket Lightship-West.
  • The Rhode Island commercial fishing industry has created a “blueprint for resilience.” Seafoodnews.com reports that the blueprint addresses warming water temperatures, changing food webs, habitat alterations, shifting demographics and labor markets, increasing competition from other ocean industries, and regulatory strain. Find more information here.
  • Gabriela Bradt, a fisheries specialist for the UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Sea Grant is researching how to catch and market invasive green crabs. The crabs are considered a delicacy in China, Spain, the Philippines, and Italy. Fishermen in Venice, Italy, where the crabs sell for between $25 and $40 per pound, have had success catching the crabs when they are molting. The Union Leader reports that “green crabs have a stronger seafood flavor than most of the crabs people are used to eating.” Bradt said she compares it “to the difference between cows and bison meat.”

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