In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 11

A large white shark encountered off Massachusettes. Photo credit: Greg Skomal.

  • Regional fishery management councils are continuing to operate during the federal government shutdown because their budgets were already approved; the New England Fishery Management Council is currently operating on a five-year funding cycle. There are concerns, however, about how work may be impacted. Janice Plante, the Council’s public affairs officer, told Undercurrent News, “Since we have many federal scientists and fishery managers who participate in our meetings and implement our actions, we’re concerned that if this partial government shutdown goes on much longer, it will impact our work on many levels, including some of our actions for groundfish, herring, and scallop.” The Council will still hold its January 29-31 meeting in Portsmouth, NH as planned.
  • Massachusetts State Senators introduced a bill to allow processing of raw frozen lobster parts in the state. The current law, originally intended to prevent harvesters from removing tails from undersized lobsters, prohibits possession of uncooked or frozen lobster parts. The bill was introduced by Gloucester-based Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. The state of Maine changed its law in 2009, and according to a report from MA Division of Marine Fisheries, the change was economically beneficial and did not lead to illegal fishing practices.
  • U.S. House Democrats introduced a series of bills this week to block the block offshore drilling. The bills come soon after the NOAA Fisheries granted incidental harassment authorization to five companies to use seismic surveys to search for oil along the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey to Florida. A New Jersey Representative told Seafood Source, “President Trump’s dangerous plans for offshore drilling will risk the livelihoods of millions on the Atlantic Coast[.]”
  • The Woods Hole Group has proposed a $50,000 project to study possible shark mitigation efforts on Cape Cod, such as improved communications, technologies, barriers, and biological options, reports CapeCod.com. Chatham, Orleans, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown, the Cape Cod National Seashore, and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy would share the cost of the study.

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