In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 22

Atlantic salmon is known as the King of Fish. Image via NOAA Fisheries.

  • The federal government could issue permits for seismic air gun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean next week, but eight environmental groups have asked a federal court to block any activity until a current lawsuit on the matter is settled. reports, “The environmental groups claim the air gun blasts would cause harm to a wide array of marine species, including the North Atlantic right whale…The groups also are concerned the work could impact zooplankton, an important food source for marine life in the region.”
  • Connecticut is considering two bills that could impact the state’s commercial fishing industry. The first would “allow fishermen who are licensed in more than one state to engage in dual landings of fish,” enabling them to bring catch across state lines. The second would “prohibit the possession and trade of shark fins in the state.” The bills were considered at an Environment Committee public hearing last week.
  • NOAA Fisheries published the U.S. National Bycatch Report last week detailing 2014 and 2015 bycatch trends for U.S. fisheries. The report includes up to 35 fisheries in the Greater Atlantic region and summarizes bycatch estimates for fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. You can find more information here.
  • NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed a $24 million-per year plan to recover wild populations of Atlantic salmon, which is currently listed under the Endangered Species Act. The AP reports, “The plan would take decades to fully implement, and it focuses on strategies such as removal of dams, installations of fish passages, and increasing the number of salmon that survive in the ocean.” The new plan would replace and expand on a 2005 plan. It’s currently unclear where the money would come from.
  • New research shows that ocean acidification could impact cartilaginous fish skeletons, potentially affecting how they move and eat. Studying skates, Harvard postdoctoral fellow Valentina Di Santo found “a reduction in the mineralized outer layer, or tiles, of the cartilage skeleton in the skates’ wings” but also “an increase in the mineralization in skates’ jaws and crura, the modified pelvic fins the fish use to ‘walk’ on the ocean floor.” Di Santo hopes to study the effects in bony fish.
  • The 44th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum is next week, February 28 – March 2, in Rockport, ME. The forum includes a maritime trade show, various social events, and two days of informational seminars. Seminar topics include scallop management and farming, whale protection measures, and elver harvesting, among others.


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