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In the News
Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 26
Atlantic sea scallops. Scallops are one New England species impacted by ocean acidification. Image via NOAA Fisheries.
- The Massachusetts Legislature passed a $43.1 billion annual budget this week that included language that would allow for lobster processing in the state. The previous law required that lobsters be shipped out of state – mostly to Maine or Canada – for processing. Executive Director of the Mass Lobstermen’s Association Beth Casoni told Seafood Source, “We’re glad to see legislation that will see our lobsters remain here in Massachusetts…Everyone is happy that we’re almost at the finish line when it comes to reviving lobster processing in the state.”
- U.S. fishermen landed 58.2 million pounds of scallops last year, valued at $532.9 million. NOAA Fisheries reports that the scallop harvest in 2018 was the highest total since 2011 and the fifth highest since 1945. Those involved in the industry expect the harvest to increase next year.
- A new Nature study found that sharks and industrial fishing ships frequent the same areas, and as a result, sharks can often be accidentally caught. Using satellite tags, researchers tracked over 1,500 sharks of 23 different species and found that sharks favor areas where different water masses in the ocean meet. New England Public Radio reports, “Overall, around 24% of the space used by sharks in an average month overlapped with long-line fisheries.” And marine-ecologist David Sims said, “[If] we look at those species which actually are most at risk, we see that the overlap values are much, much higher.” Read more here.
- The New England Fishery Management Council is joining its Mid-Atlantic counterpart in a framework action to require the use of electronic vessel trip reports (eVTRs). The Council voted in June to “(1) engage in a joint omnibus eVTR action with the Mid-Atlantic Council for spiny dogfish and monkfish, which are managed by both Councils; and (2) expand the framework action to include the full range of fisheries managed by the New England Council for all commercial and recreational for-hire permit holders.” The Council decided that joining the action made sense because most New England vessels have permits for species managed by both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils, and those vessels would have been required to submit eVTRs anyway under “the most restrictive rule” requirement. Read more about the Council’s decision in its press release here.