In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 27

A close-up of a crinoid illustrates the pinnules on the long arms used to filter food from the water. Image courtesy Northeast Canyons 2013 Science Team/NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

  • The Department of Interior accidentally released thousands of pages of documents, which revealed that the administration planned to eliminate the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – “even as they had yet to agree on the public justifications for doing so.” The documents detailed that the administration’s priorities were increased commercial extraction such as commercial fishing, mining, and drilling.
  • The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved increased opportunities to land herring from Area 1A. Updated management measures include allowing boats to fish five days a week instead of four, land more herring each week, and transfer herring at sea. Bangor Daily News reports that the measures were implemented “in hopes of preventing the supply of the valuable bait species from getting too low during Maine’s peak lobster fishing season.” If fishermen reach their summer quota, herring fishing will be closed in Area 1A until October 1.
  • Even with concerns over tariffs, lobster prices in New England are remaining steady. In Maine, live lobsters are selling for $7-12 per pound. Prices are beginning the drops as the season picks up, but that is normal as lobstermen begin to land more lobsters. Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association told Bangor Daily New that “the tariffs do not appear to be hurting the U.S. business right now, in part because the summer season is more about domestic consumption than overseas sale.”
  • College of the Atlantic and Springtide Seaweed, the country’s largest organic seaweed farmer, have launched a new partnership. The two will work together on a saltwater research and production facility on the college’s campus in Bar Harbor. The space will be used “to isolate and culture seed stock for a host of North Atlantic seaweed farms, experiment with local cultivators, and host student projects and experiments in the emergent field of Maine seaweed farming,” reports MaineBiz.
  • The price of steel has been on the rise in recent months leading to higher lobster trap prices, but that number may increase even more now that the Trump Administration has levied a 25 percent tariff on raw imported steel. The price of raw steel has doubled as a result of the tariff according to James Knott Jr., the CEO of Riverdale Mills Corp. of Massachusetts. Riverdale, a U.S. supplier of lobster trap wire, has been absorbing the price increase for now, but that’s not sustainable in the long-run. Knott said he “hopes the Trump administration eliminates the tariffs before he must decide between trimming jobs…or raising the price of its lobster trap wire.”

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