In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 4

Sea scallop with 100 eyes at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo Credit: Dann Blackwood, USGS

  • The New England Fishery Management Council has published Draft Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and will be hosting seven public hearings throughout the region to collect public comment. Hearings will be held in Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. There will also be one hearing available via webinar. The first hearing is on Tuesday, May 22 in Narragansett, RI. Find the full schedule and more details here.
  • U.S. Senators King and Collins of Maine are asking NOAA to prioritize the Gulf of Maine as a study area due to its rapidly warming waters and new evidence of record high temperatures entering the Gulf of Maine. The Senators wrote in the letter that “these changes pose long-term threats to the balance of conditions that have fostered such a historically healthy, productive ocean ecosystem.” More research is needed “to help better understand, prepare for, and adapt to these changes…”
  • NOAA Fisheries has closed the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area to all federally permitted Limited Access General Category scallop vessels. The closure went into effect on May 2, 2018 and will remain in place until the end of the fishing year on March 31, 2019. The agency projected that 100 percent of the total allowable catch for 2018 had been reached. Vessels that declared a trip and had entered the area prior to May 2 were able to complete their trip and retain catch.
  • In a letter authored by U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a group of New England Senators is calling on NOAA to investigate Canada’s marine mammal conservation standards and efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales. The Senators say that NOAA should consider taking action to prohibit the imports from relevant Canadian fisheries. Senators King and Collins told Maine Public Radio that that “NOAA should use diplomacy to ensure the rigor of Canada’s standards…”
  • NOAA Fisheries is conducting an assessment of sea scallops populations in the Atlantic Ocean. In 2016, fishermen harvested 40 million pounds of sea scallops worth $486 million at the dock. The assessment results should be available in July.
  • NOAA Fisheries approved Framework 57 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan prior to the start of the new groundfish fishing year this week. The Framework sets 2018-2020 catch limits for groundfish stocks, including increased quotas for Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine cod. NOAA said, “Overall, we expect the measures in Framework 57 to generate $9 million in additional gross revenues this fishing year compared to last year,” reports IntraFish.com.

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