In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 13

Offshore wind is expanding in New England. Image of Block Island Wind Farm via NOAA Sea Grant.

  • Elizabeth Warren released a Blue New Deal this week that “seeks to address how climate change is affecting oceans and other waters, while ensuring a vibrant marine economy,” reports the Boston Globe. In the Blue New Deal, Warren calls for building climate-ready fisheries, expanding community-based seafood markets, expanding offshore renewable energy, expanding marine protected areas, and more. Priscilla Brooks, director of ocean conservation at Conservation Law Foundation told the Boston Globe, “With the ocean getting hotter and more acidic and wildlife facing extinction, the ocean must be a top issue this election season. It’s time for bold action to confront the crisis facing our oceans.”
  • Atlantic halibut is the research focus of a three-part study as the Northeast Fisheries Science Center works with local fishermen to understand the fish’s life history, stock structure, and movement patterns. Capecod.com reports, “The study looks to discover when and where the fish spawn, if there is one overall population in the New England region as opposed to several populations, and where they mature.” The work is ongoing.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council recommended new specifications for the scallop fishery in fishing year 2020 that are expected to result in about 52 million pounds of landings, valued at about $487 million. This estimate is lower than what was originally projected but, as the Council states, “will remain well above the historical average.” NOAA Fisheries must still approve the Council’s recommendation. The new scallop fishing year starts April 1, 2020.
  • Federal fishery managers are limiting the herring catch in the inshore Gulf of Maine to 2,000 pounds per trip until December 31 because 92% of the catch limit has been harvested. Herring fishing in the inshore Gulf of Maine will also be prohibited from January 1 to May 31, 2020.
  • NOAA Fisheries completed its 2019 Northeast fall ecosystem survey, sampling 117 sites along the East Coast. Only about 75 percent of the survey objectives could be accomplished because of bad weather conditions. Capecod.com reports, “Data collected during the cruise helps researchers understand and predict seasonal and yearly changes in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean ecosystem and its fisheries.” Read more about the data and samples collected here.

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