In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 29

Capelin are an important forage fish. Image via NOAA Fisheries (Shelley Dawicki).

  • The United States imported over 6 billion pounds of seafood in 2017, an all-time high. Only 3.6 billion pounds were exported though at a value of $6 billion. “Domestic and imported seafood are both important parts of the supply chain and support thousands of American jobs,” reports the AP. Commerce Secretary Ross has made it a priority though to reduce the trade deficit.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce announced 2018 appointments to the eight regional fishery management councils. Of the 30 new or reappointed members, 29 will serve three-year terms while one is filling an at-large seat and will only serve two years. Five members were reappointed in New England: Matthew McKenzie (Connecticut), Terry Alexander (Maine), John Quinn (Massachusetts), Eric Reid (Rhode Island), and Vincent Balzano (Maine).
  • Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is conducting an extensive study of capelin in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the first time. Capelin are an important food source for myriad marine animals such as cod, whales, and seabirds. Over 25 days, a team of scientists collected data via underwater acoustic surveys as well as collected capelin samples from five locations. It will take a few months to process the data, but the results will establish a baseline for health of capelin in the Gulf.
  • Researchers in the UK warn that increased frequency and intensity of storms could negatively impact the global fishing industry. Potentially, fishing would become more dangerous, and fish would be displaced from their natural habitats. The Digital Journal reports that the “paper calls for more detailed projections and simulations to predict more precisely where storms will hit in the future and to support fishing communities as they adapt to a changing climate.”
  • Whale Safe USA has filed a notice of intent to sue the Maine Department of Marine Resources for violating the Endangered Species Act by not prohibiting the killing or injury of right whales. The Portland Press Herald reports that the group, led by Max Strahan “wants to stop Maine from issuing licenses to fishermen who use lobster pot gear that can entangle right whales, especially the ropes…” Strahan told the Press Herald that they also plan to sue the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and individual lobstermen.

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