In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 8

June 8th is World Oceans Day! This is an image of a common octocoral found on the New England Seamounts that forms beautiful spirals as it grows. Image via NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program (2014).

  • The New England Fishery Management Council meets for three days next week in Portland, ME for its June 2018 meeting. On the agenda is herring, groundfish, ecosystem-based fishery management, monitoring, and more. See more details here.
  • The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering changes to the American eel fishery management plan. Fishermen at the first of two Maine meetings said they support increasing the elver quota from 9,688 pounds to 11,749 pounds. These meetings come after this year’s season was closed two weeks early due to illegal harvesting and unreported sales. The Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told Maine Public Radio, “Before we can support additional quota we need to make sure that we have under control the overages that happened from the illegal activities of this year.”
  • An environmental research nonprofit recently installed two experimental clam farms in Scarborough and Arrowsic, Maine. As clam harvests decline, farming may create new opportunities for clammers; harvesters can even use nets to keep out predators like crabs.
  • U.S. lobster has been growing in popularity in China, but there are now concerns that the crustacean could face retaliatory tariffs if the Trump Administration places tariffs on seafood imports from China. Maine lawmakers recently sent a letter to the president expressing their concerns. Last year, the US exported $1.3 billion worth of seafood to China, including $142.4 million in lobsters.
  • Recreational fishermen in Rhode Island are supporting new herring management measures. The New England Fishery Management Council has proposed a new system of setting catch limits that would account for herring’s role in the ecosystem. The Vice President of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association told RI Public Radio that they support the proposal because herring are an important forage fish for fish, birds, and whales. The group also supports a buffer zone to prevent mid-water trawlers from coming too close to shore.

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