In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 20

Maine lobster specialty license plate. Image via Maine DMR.

  • NOAA Fisheries has lifted the ban on Northeast Fishery Sector 9, setting up a mechanism for the sector to payback the groundfish quota overages created by Carlos Rafael’s illegal activities. Sector 9 will be a “lease-only” sector, meaning that permit-holders in the sector will only be allowed to sell their quota, not actively fish. Most vessels originally in Sector 9, however, have moved to Sector 7, a move that NOAA has also approved. Those vessels associated with Carlos Rafael that moved to Sector 7 will also be lease-only but could become active if the permits are transferred to an independent party. The Boston Globe reports, “NOAA’s decision will take effect on Friday but is subject to a 30-day public comment period.”
  • Soon after Canadian officials reported that there have been no North Atlantic right whale deaths or entanglements so far this season, a right whale was seen entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Cape Cod Times reports, “The whale was swimming with rope around its body and trailing behind off Miscou, New Brunswick.” The whale has not yet been relocated.
  • Deepwater Wind CEO says that “offshore wind and all other ocean users can coexist – we see that happening every day at Block Island Wind Farm.” The company has said they are committed to working with the fishing industry, making sure that they stay updated on offshore activities. Providence Business News also reports, “While Deepwater expects there will be only ‘limited impact’ on fishing gear, the company said it also has adopted a process for handling claims of loss and damage of fishing gear.”
  • The New England Fishery Management Council is collecting comments on an amendment to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan that proposes a limited access program for whiting. The amendment offers five alternatives for qualification criteria for fishermen wishing to participate in a limited access program, but the Council has indicated that it prefers ‘no action.’ The comment period is open through August 6th.
  • The Maine Department of Marine Resources has collected $340,000 in research funds from the sale of lobster license plates. The money will be used to fund research by the University of Maine and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute addressing “the impact of a changing ocean environment on Maine’s lobster industry.”

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