In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 4

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects thriving deep-sea coral communities. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

  • 2018 ended on a positive note for right whales with the first calf spotted off Florida in over a year. The mother, No. 2791, is over 20 years old and has been known to researchers since she was first sighted in the Bay of Fundy in 1997. The recent sighting of mother and calf was the first time No. 2791 was seen in the calving grounds since 2009, which fits with right whale calving cycles, reports the Brunswick News. In other happy news, there were no right whale deaths in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2018.
  • In a letter to President Trump, 25 members of the Rhode Island General Assembly called for continued protection of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The lawmakers said, “Rhode Island is a state with a proud maritime history and our commercial fishermen have helped provide seafood to the nation for generations.” Furthermore, “’[The Monument is] an area that we are proud to have in our backyard.”
  • The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, which has spent the last four years educating chefs and consumers on “new shell” lobster, is shifting its focus to distributors. Maine new shell lobsters – sweeter and more tender than hard-shell – account for 80% of Maine’s annual lobster landings. Collaborative Director Matt Jacobsen told the Portland Press Herald, “[Chef’s] need to be able to buy it. If their supplier doesn’t carry Maine new shell, all the education in the world can’t get Maine new shell on that chef’s menu.” The Collaborative is state-funded and has a $2.2 million a year budget.
  • President Trump signed the Modern Fish Act into law on December 31, 2018. The new law is intended to support communities that rely on recreational fishing, such as urging regional fishery management councils to consider using fishing mortality targets or extraction rates when evaluating catch limits. In a statement, Trump said, “Keeping with past practice of the executive branch, my Administration will treat the plans promulgated by the Council as advisory only; the adoption of the plans will be subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce” under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.


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