In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, November 30

Fishing vessels in Port Judith, RI. Image via GARFO.

  • The December meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council is next week, Tuesday through Thursday, in Newport, RI. The Council is expected to take final action on the Clam Dredge Framework, receive a report from the Fishery Data for Stock Assessment Working Group, and decide 2019 Council priorities. A full agenda can be found here.
  • A final forfeiture order from Judge Young decided that only two of Carlos Rafael’s fishing vessels that were used in his crimes – the Lady Patricia and the Olivia & Rafaela – will be forfeited to the government. Permits associated with the vessels will must be forfeited as well, and a $304,490 fine must be paid. The other two vessels that were originally seized will be returned to their partial owners, including Rafael’s wife. Carlos Rafael is still serving his 48-month prison sentence for falsifying quotas, tax evasion, and bulk cash smuggling.
  • Working with Duke University, scientists at the New England Aquarium are using interactive simulation technology to help prevent entanglements of right whales in fishing gear. The Boston Globe reports, “The goal for developing the model was to reverse-engineer entanglements in order to figure out ways to modify fishing gear so that it poses less of a risk to helpless marine animals going forward.” More than 80 percent of right whales will become entangled at least once. A group of 17 right whales were recently spotted south of Nantucket, and in response, NOAA Fisheries extended a voluntary speed restriction through December 11.
  • NOAA Fisheries will issue “incidental take” permits to authorize seismic surveys for offshore oil and gas by five companies. The surveys would take place in the Atlantic Ocean between Delaware and central Florida. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management must still also grant permits before work moves forward, but those are expected to be granted. Bloomberg reports, Scientists have warned that the surveys could cause long-lasting damage to marine animals.”

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