In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 26

Image via NEFSC/NOAA.

  • NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on Framework 58 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. The Framework sets new 2019-2020 catch limits for seven groundfish stocks, implements new or revised rebuilding plans for five stocks, revises a scallop fishery accountability measure, and makes other minor changes. That includes addressing 2017 quota overages for Gulf of Maine cod, which will be reflected in 2019 catch limits. Comments are being accepted on the Framework through May 6, 2019. Given that the new fishing year starts May 1, though, last year’s catch limits will be rolled over until NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule on Framework 58 (if approved).
  • “Seaweed Week” kicks off today in Maine, which will run through May 4. More than 50 restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries throughout Maine are participating by offering menu items that feature seaweed. The idea came from Josh Rogers, owner of Heritage Seaweed in Portland, who wants “to be a part of creating a Maine brand around seaweed, the same way Maine has created a brand around lobsters.”
  • New research from the University of Maine shows negative impacts of ocean acidification on lobsters. Phys.org reports, “The heart rates of lobsters who lived 60 days in water with predicted end-century ocean pH levels became erratic significantly sooner during an abrupt warming event than those of lobsters in ocean water with current pH levels.” Furthermore, “the lobsters exposed to acidic ocean conditions also had fewer cells that fight infection…” Read more here.
  • NOAA Fisheries announced the closure of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area to all federal limited access general category scallop vessels. The closure went into effect yesterday, April 25, and will be in place through March 31, 2020. NOAA Fisheries reports, “The scallop regulations require that we close the area once we project that 100 percent of the 2019 default total allowable catch for this area will be taken.”
  • The last dam was removed from the Quinnipiac River in Connecticut earlier this month allowing migratory fish like river herring and shad to reach traditional spawning grounds for the first time in 150 years. Opening the river will also create new recreational opportunities along the river. The Hartford Courant reports, “A federal study in 2011 found that every mile of river opened up by removing dams and other obstacles can result in more than $500,000 a year in social and economic benefits once native fish return.”

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