In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 24

Leatherback sea turtles are threatened by entanglement in fishing gear when searching for jellyfish in New England waters. Image via NOAA/NMFS.

  • NOAA Fisheries announced this week that it is reducing the Atlantic herring catch limit in New England from 240 million pounds to less than 110 million pounds, effective immediately. This reduction is even greater than the New England Fishery Management Council’s recommendation. The agency adjusted the catch limit in response to a stock assessment conducted earlier this summer.
  • Scientists continue to see low abundance and low biomass in New England’s shrimp fishery. Once a popular winter seafood, the fishery has been closed since 2013. Regulators are expected to discuss reopening the fishery this fall, but that might be a hard sell given the recent analysis, reports the Associated Press.
  • A captain of a Codfather vessel has pleaded guilty to interfering with a U.S. Coast Guard inspection and now faces up to five years in prison. Back in 2014, when instructed by the Coast Guard to haul in a net, the captain instead dumped it into the water. Those who later retrieved the net, “found it was in violation of commercial fishing regulations,” reports the NY Times.
  • Rescuers successfully released a 600-pound leatherback sea turtle that had become entangled in a lobster buoy line in Cape Cod Bay this week. Massachusetts Environmental Police spotted the sea turtle on their way to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and called the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team for assistance. The rescuers attached an identification tag to the turtle, and it was able to swim away once freed.
  • The Cape Ann Seafood Exchange (CASE) was shut down after the U.S. Labor Department froze its bank accounts. The accounts were frozen due to failure to pay about $240,000 related to a 2016 civil action. Fishing boats that would normally land at CASE have been going to local seafood wholesalers instead, which the mayor of Gloucester says is sustainable for now.

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