In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 20

North Atlantic right whales are in danger of going extinct in our lifetime. Photo: Steve Meese/Shutterstock.

  • Sea Harvest Inc. and Fishing Vessel Enterprises, Inc. will pay a combined penalty of $1 million and face five years of probation for spilling oil into New Bedford Harbor. The companies, as well as the owners and operators of the vessels involved, pled guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. The companies’ fleets will also undergo an inspection and will be required to keep a discharge log.
  • A new Portland-based seafood dealer called Gulf of Maine Sashimi, a subsidiary of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, has the goal of helping both the fish and fishermen. As the Portland Press Herald reports, “The company’s niche is to wholesale pristine versions of…normally less valuable and more populous fish [such as Acadian redfish, flounder, and white hake], so they can fetch better prices than they otherwise would. Then it passes along the extra revenue to the fishermen.” The local fishermen that supply the fish use a Japanese technique for killing the fish and certain storage techniques to preserve quality, taste, and shelf life. The dealer’s CEO told Portland Press Herald that they can sell fish “at a 20 percent to 400 percent premium over auction prices.”
  • A new study – the first of its kind – from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that “exposure to underwater pile driving noise, which can be associated with the construction of docks, piers, and offshore wind farms, causes squid to exhibit strong alarm behaviors.” However, it seems that squid may also possess the ability to adapt to the noise as the individuals studied often showed a lack of response after the first minute of noise testing. Read more in Science Daily here.
  • On Monday, an aerial survey team with Clearwater Marine Aquarium spotted the first right whale calf of the season off the coast of Georgia. Researchers tentatively identified the mom in the New England Aquarium’s right whale catalog. Only around 400 North Atlantic right whales are left in the population.


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