In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 1

River herring make their way up a fish ladder in Massachusetts. Photo credit: Greg Wells.

  • The Massachusetts Senate approved an amendment to the state’s 2019 budget bill to include $41.49 billion to expand in-state lobster processing. Current law only allows sale of live, cooked and canned lobster and processing and sale of frozen, cooked tails. The effort is led by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and is similar to one from last year that did not remain in the final budget. The House must still approve the amended budget.
  • Massachusetts Environmental Police cited nearly 35 tourists on a for-hire vessel out of New Bedford for overfishing. The group had 560 pounds of black sea bass over the legal limit, 33 undersized black sea bass, 90 pounds of scup over the legal limit, one undersized striped bass, and one undersized tautog. The fish were donated to the New Bedford Salvation Army.
  • Large numbers of river herring are returning to Maine’s rivers this spring, and millions more are expected in the coming weeks. Restoration efforts to remove dams have been a big part of the successful runs. One dam removal project on Blackman Stream recorded more than 600,000 river herring last year when just seven years ago there were zero. Read more from Maine Public Radio.
  • Scientists on the west coast have developed an online tool to help fishermen target the most productive fishing areas while warning them about areas where protected species may be in “near real time.” The project is called EcoCast and is intended to reduce bycatch of protected species, as well as “improve the economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries.” The tool is currently limited to the west coast.
  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries reopened two clam flats in Essex, MA this week after a town-wide closure on Sunday. The flats were closed because of sewage contamination. The rest of the flats, where only Essex residents are allowed to commercially harvest, remain closed.
  • As in previous years, President Trump has declared June as National Ocean Month. Read the presidential proclamation here.

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