In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 11

The colorful kelp forest atop Cashes Ledge flows in the ocean current. Photo credit: Brian Skerry/NEOO.

  • Conservation Law Foundation has filed two challenges to the Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2, which opens more than 3,000 square miles of ocean previously closed to harmful fishing practices. One lawsuit argues that NOAA Fisheries “did not take necessary steps to ensure the survival of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales prior to approving the amendment, as required by the Endangered Species Act.” The second lawsuit “contends that NMFS failed to approve viable alternatives that would have minimized the adverse impacts of fishing in the Gulf of Maine on” groundfish habitat and deep-sea corals.
  • North Atlantic right whales are lingering longer than usual in Cape Cod Bay where they have gathered to feed. As a result, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has extended the ban on lobstering in the area through May 15. The ban is in place to prevent the whales from entanglement in fishing lines.
  • New research from a team of scientists in Australia and Panama found that bigger fish produce “massively more offspring and larger offspring than smaller fish.” The study, though not entirely new information, reinforces the need to implement fishery management rules that protect large female fish.
  • New England haddock, pollock, and redfish caught in the trawl fishery have received Marine Stewardship Council sustainable certification. As reported by Seafoodnews.com, “The MSC assessment concluded that the New England fishery management system is ‘robust and contains requirements that lead to the fulfillment of MSC principles.’”
  • Two New Bedford-based fishing companies, one manager, and one vessel captain will pay $414,000 in fines due to Clean Water Act violations. The vessel was caught discharging oil bilge waste as well as releasing 100 barrels of diesel fuel after sinking. The paid fines will go towards the federal oil spill liability trust fund.
  • An environmentalist is seeking a prohibition on vertical lobster trap lines off the coast of Massachusetts to protect highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. Richard Maximus Strahan said the prohibition should be in effect “until state marine fisheries officials and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association could show that there are no more right whales…in the state’s coastal waters.”

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