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In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 27
An electronic monitoring camera on a fishing vessel. Image via NMFS.
- In a recent op-ed, Jack Creighton, local fisherman and president of the Cape Cod Salties Sportfishing Club, urged all Massachusetts representatives to support Rep. Joe Cunningham’s Climate-Ready Fisheries Act. Creighton says, “Our hope is that a strong show of support for the Climate-Ready Fisheries Act and bills like it will help ensure that we as a nation prepare fisheries for climate change.” Further, “We want to ensure a lifetime of fishing for our children and grandchildren, adjusting fisheries management policy to mitigate the impacts of climate change and help fisheries and managers adapt to our new reality.”
- NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded $3.9 million in grants to support electronic monitoring projects across the United States. Seafoodsource.com reports, “The grants aim to modernize fisheries data management, monitoring, and reporting by creating tools that lower the costs of collecting and reviewing data.” One of the grants will be used to help New England’s groundfish fishery. Read more here.
- Maine DMR recently approved a 35-acre oyster farm expansion in Maquoit Bay, but local lobstermen have vowed to fight it and are filing an appeal in court. A spokeswoman for the opponents told AP news that “DMR favored aquaculture at the expense of the traditional fisheries.” However, according to one of the owners of the oyster farm, “Maine’s approval of the farm was an evidence-based decision and will hold up in court,” reports AP news.
- After months of facing off with critics, Virginia-based Omega Protein said it will cooperate with fishery managers regarding its menhaden catch. The Secretary of Commerce recently concurred with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that Virginia is out-of-compliance with the Chesapeake Bay catch cap in its menhaden fishery and set a June 17, 2020 deadline for the state to come into compliance. ASMFC Chairman Patrick Keliher told National Fisherman, “I am grateful for the Secretary’s support of the Commission’s fisheries management process and, in particular, our efforts to manage Atlantic menhaden, an important forage species, in a precautionary manner. The Secretarial backstop is a key provision of the Atlantic Coastal Act.”
- A U.S. district court ruled that the FDA can regulate genetically modified salmon such as that from AquaBounty. Bloomberg Law reports, “The suit challenged FDA authority over genetically engineered salmon and the way the agency went about regulating the fish as a drug, not a food.” The court, however, said that the legal definition of a drug is broader than traditional medical meaning. Another hearing in 2020 will address whether the FDA’s approval failed to consider environmental impacts. AquaBounty’s salmon has come to be known as “frankenfish.”