In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, March 30

Calanus finmarchicus. Image via NEFSC/NOAA.

  • NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on new catch limits for the Northeast groundfish fishery. The agency is proposing increased catch limits for eleven stocks including Georges Bank cod by 139 percent, Gulf of Maine cod by 41 percent, and Gulf of Maine haddock by 190 percent. Nine stocks may see a decrease. Comments are due April 6, 2018.
  • On the day of the deadline for groundfish vessels to change sectors, 55 vessels from Sector IX as well as three board members moved to Sector XII. This includes four vessels that are subject to forfeiture as a result of Carlos Rafael’s crimes. Only three vessels will remain in Sector IX, and all Sector XII vessels have transferred to either the common pool or Sector XIII. The Sector IX vessel permits that transferred to Sector XII will be lease-only. Sector IX is not currently allowed to fish in the groundfish fishery and members of the sector had been working on negotiations with NOAA officials for the last few months. In a letter to the Council, Regional Administrator Mike Pentony said the matter would be further discussed at the upcoming Council meeting.
  • After nearly a year on hold, the fishermen’s lawsuit protesting the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is moving forward. A stay had been placed on the lawsuit after the Trump administration ordered a review of national monuments in April 2017. A coalition of conservation groups has been granted intervention in the case to defend the monument. The federal government, the defendant, has until April 16 to respond.
  • Researchers in New England have been wondering why there are an abundance of egg-bearing lobsters but babies are in decline. New research suggests that they may be limited by food, in particular one species of copepod: Calanus finmarchius. It appears that seasonal abundance of finmarchius may be changing and impacting the food chain. This copepod is not only important to lobsters, but also right whales, herring, and other New England marine species. Read more about other research efforts here.

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