In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, August 23

  • NOAA announced the settlement terms of its civil case against Carlos Rafael, the Codfather, and he could walk away a millionaire. Rafael is banned from commercial fishing and must sell his vessels and permits, but he will get to seek the highest bidder and keep the profits. Many believe that Rafael got off too easy. Peter Shelley of Conservation Law Foundation told the Cape Cod Times, “It strikes me that Mr. Rafael came out well ahead on this agreement, considering the circumstances.” And Hank Soule, sector manager for the Sustainable Harvest in Portland said, “Given the serial nature of the crimes, I’m surprised at the decision not to revoke [his groundfish permits].” Seventeen of Rafael’s captains were also involved in the settlement and face various sanctions.
  • According to a new FAO report, “Climate change will decrease the world fisheries’ overall maximum catch potential between 2.8% and 12.1% by 2050 based on different greenhouse gas emission scenarios,” reports Undercurrent News. The impacts will be felt by both ocean and inland fisheries. The report can be found here.
  • Someone stole 4,000 immature oysters from a Mill Creek aquaculture farm in Sandwich, MA earlier this month. The Cape Cod Times reports, “The town has been cultivating the shellfish, which take between two and three years to mature, as part of its aquaculture program.” Officials were perplexed by the theft because the oysters were too small to sell. Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating.
  • NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a control date – April 29, 2019 – for potential changes to the lobster fishery. The agency is currently considering new management measures given its responsibilities to protect North Atlantic right whales under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. According to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, “Participation in the fishery after the control date may not be treated the same as participation before the control date.” Find more information in the Federal Register here.

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