In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 31

Atlantic bluefin tuna swimming through Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Greg Skomal, NOAA Sanctuaries.

  • The New England Aquarium received a $227,000 grant from NOAA Fisheries to test a ropeless fishing gear prototype. The gear is intended to eliminate whale entanglements. The gear is not entirely ropeless but instead “involves securing ropes to the seafloor where traps are being fished, and when the trap is ready to be hauled to check for catch, ropes are released to the surface by an acoustically triggered device…”
  • U.S. managers increased quotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna by 17 percent this summer, but not everyone is sure it’s the right move. International regulators say that bluefin are slowly recovering from low population levels and can withstand more fishing pressure. Conservationist, though, say that the populations is still only a fraction of what it once was and managers should allow it more time to recover.
  • The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and the University of Rhode Island are tagging lobsters and Jonah crabs in Southern New England to determine their abundance and distribution in the RI/MA Wind Energy Area. The wind energy area is located near Cox’s Ledge, south of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Lobstermen are being asked to keep an eye out for lobsters with green bars labeled “SNECVTS” and black acoustic tags.
  • The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, working with The Nature Conservancy and the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth, is leading a research project to better understand halibut abundance and activity in Cape Cod waters. The first phase of the project includes collecting samples to study age and sexual maturity. Researchers will then tag individual halibut. The goal is to collect information that can inform policy and hopefully lead to a future halibut fishery.
  • Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine have been especially warm this year according to analysis from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The Associated Press reports that “the average sea surface temperature in the gulf was nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average during one 10-day stretch in August.” This stretch included the second warmest day in recorded history.

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