In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 19

Image via New England Fisheries Science Center.

  • NOAA Fisheries approved Framework 58 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, implementing new catch limits for seven stocks in fishing year 2019 – including an increase for overfished Georges Bank cod – as well new or revised rebuilding plans for 5 stocks. The action also reduces the 2019 allocation for Gulf of Maine cod because of an overage in 2017. Approval of the Framework 58 had been delayed due to the government shutdown earlier this year. Read more in the final rule here.
  • A new Science study conducted by researchers from the U.S. and U.K. “reveals that the world’s marine fisheries form a single global network – linked by transnational flows of fish larvae – rather than existing as discrete groups,” reports SeafoodSource.com. The study modeled larvae dispersal using data from satellites, ocean buoys, field observations, and catch records, finding that “more than USD 10 billion (EUR 8.9 billion) worth of fish is caught each year in a country other than one in which it spawned.” The researchers hope their work could help improve international cooperation in fisheries management.
  • Ahead of schedule, work has begun to remove two dam headwalls at Upper Saccarappa Falls on the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, ME to restore fish passage and wildlife habitat. Michael Shaughnessy, president of Friends of the Presumpscot River told the Portland Press Herald, “Looking up the river, you can see a view that you haven’t seen since the 1800s at least, if not before that. The river has been dammed since the 1700s…and it’s going to change.” Part of a settlement deal between Sappi paper company and conservation groups, a “ladder-like fish passage” will also be installed around Lower Saccarappa Falls. The company may need to install more fish passages along the river if river herring numbers begin to improve.
  • Nordic Aquafarms received preliminary approval from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to install buried water intake and discharge pipes on submerged lands in the Penobscot Bay – a big step forward for the proposed Belfast fish farm. The process and approval have had its fair share of controversy, though, including disputes over whether the deed acquired by Nordic gives them access to the intertidal zone. The Bureau said that is not their decision to make, and two people who believe they are the rightful owners of the intertidal zone have filed a lawsuit against Nordic. Read more in the Bangor Daily News here.

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