In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 10

A large white shark encountered off Massachusetts. Photo credit: Greg Skomal (via NOAA Fisheries).

  • Atlantic cod landings continue a downward trend in Maine, hitting an all-time low in 2017. In 2017, Maine fishermen landed 79,816 pounds of cod – less than half 2016 landings. Landings are low because of tight catch limits on cod (a consequence of overfishing) and fishermen are trying to avoid cod. The U.S. cod fishery hit an all-time low in 2016.
  • A local fishermen found a 10-foot, 650-pound immature female great white shark caught in his gillnet. Scientists say the shark may have already been dead when it got caught. Staff from DMF and NOAA performed a necropsy on the shark and harvested the shark’s remains to be used for research. The shark had recently enjoyed a meal of seal pup and striped bass.
  • After receiving feedback from fishermen and other stakeholders, Bay State Wind has reconfigured the layout of its turbines for a proposed wind farm off Massachusetts. The previous “irregular pattern” of turbines was changed to an east-west layout, which is more compatible with fishing. Bay State Wind commented that “the updated layout also includes an average of one nautical mile between turbine rows to create distinct fishing corridors while continuing to optimize wind utilization and energy production.”
  • Over the next month or more, Deepwater Wind is scheduled to take sediment core samples from its offshore wind lease area off Rhode Island. The results will be used to inform the construction and operation plans of Deepwater Wind’s proposed 400-megawatt project. The Providence Journal reports, “Deepwater will feed the data they collect into a computer model that will look at how different [turbine] foundation types…would fare over time under different wind and wave conditions.”
  • The environmental advocacy group Conservation Law Foundation filed a notice of intent to sue the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department over the Powder Mill Fish Hatchery due to Clean Water Act violations. CLF states that runoff from the New Hampshire’s largest fish hatchery contains high levels of contaminants, including nitrogen and phosphorous, that are polluting lakes and rivers and impacting recreational activities. E&E News was told that “the state has known about the issue for more than 15 years.”
  • The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission denied a proposal to increase Maine’s allowable annual harvest of baby eels, also known as elvers, by about 20 percent. Maine fishermen are currently allowed to harvest 9,688 pounds of elvers per year. The fishery is one of the most lucrative in the country with dock prices as high as $2,000 per pound, and prices have been even higher this year due to low supply.

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