In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 22

Mid-water trawls fishing close to shore in Rhode Island state waters. Photo credit: Mike Laptew.

  • President Trump revoked the National Ocean Policy this week, which as the Boston Globe reports, “could have long-term consequences for New England.” The National Ocean Policy was implemented by Obama via executive order in 2010. Environmental groups have denounced the replacement executive order because it “strongly favors commercial interests over conservation.” The new executive order reflects the Administration’s priority of economic growth, and strips any language related to the climate change, biodiversity, and stewardship.
  • H.R. 200, a House bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is expected to go to the floor for a vote next week. Conservation groups as well as numerous fishing groups are opposed to H.R. 200 as it weakens the rules around annual catch limits and stock-rebuilding programs. There is no Senate counterpart to the bill.
  • A Chatham public hearing on Atlantic herring was overflowing this week, the room filled with fishermen and elected officials. The hearing was on proposed management measures to the Atlantic herring fishery management plan, which hope to address issues such as localized depletion. Everyone who commented at the hearing supported a 50-mile buffer zone to prevent mid-water trawlers from fishing herring too close to shore.
  • Including in a list of retaliatory tariffs against the United States, China plans to tax U.S. lobster exports, including live, fresh, and frozen lobster. Last year, China imported over $140 million worth of lobster. China said the new tariffs would start July 6.
  • Town officials in Brewster, MA approved a pilot program for commercial razor clam harvest. The program will run June 25 to September 30, seven-days-a-week, “to see if the fishery can handle the demand and to gauge the Shellfish Department’s ability to manage it.” Fishermen will have to receive an endorsement to participate.
  • The Maine Department of Marine Resources renewed a Cooke Aquaculture license to operate a 10-acre net pen facility in the Gulf of Maine near Eastport, ME. The license is good for seven years and covers species such as Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, and haddock. Undercurrent News reports, however, that the facility has not been stocked since 2006 due to sea lice concerns.

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