In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, March 9

A juvenile black sea bass off the north shore of Massachusetts. Black sea bass populations are shifting north due to warming waters. Photo: Alex Shure

  • Since November 2017, an external panel of scientists and fishery managers have been conducting an independent review of the New England Fishery Management Council operations and performance. The panel surveyed stakeholders from the public as well as members of the Council and the science community. A public meeting discussing the review will take place next week, March 13-16 in Boston, MA. The meeting is also available via webinar.
  • MA DMF is proposing a new spring season for black sea bass that would run April 23 to June 9 with a 75,000 pound quota. Numbers of black sea bass are increasing in Massachusetts due to warming waters. The MA Division of Marine Fisheries Deputy Director told the MV Times, “black sea bass is the poster child of climate change.” Martha’s Vineyard fishermen use pot traps and hand lines to catch black sea bass, which is more profitable that targeting scup.
  • Baby lobster numbers are declining, but numbers of lobsters at other life stages are still high – scientists want to know why. To help find the answer, Maine lobster dealer Ready Seafood of Portland is contributing $75,000 in research funding to the University of Maine. Rick Whale of UMaine who has been studying baby lobsters hypothesizes that, perhaps, the babies face new predators like black sea bass or that the nursery is moving to deeper waters.
  • Lobster landings are down in Massachusetts as well as Maine. However, higher “off-the-boat prices” helped mitigate the impact of the decline in the Bay State. Preliminary data indicates that in 2017, Massachusetts lobstermen landed over 16.5 million pounds of lobster, valued at $81.54 million. That represents a 7.7 percent decline in landings and 0.75 percent decline in value.
  • A Boston-based seafood technology provider, Legit Fish, developed a new cloud-based seafood traceability software. Legit Fish has partnered with BASE New England, operator of the largest seafood auction in New England, to further develop software so that BASE New England will be able to “clearly monitor ‘on the water’ hail information as well as product sales compared to dealer reported federal record.” Read more here.


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