In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 7

Shells dissolving in lab-simulated ocean acidification conditions. Photo credit: NOAA.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed two ocean acidification bills this week. The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, “direct[s] federal authorities to assess the risks that ocean acidification (OA) presents to coastal communities, fishermen and the aquaculture industry,” reports the Portland Press Herald. It passed unanimously. The second bill, titled the Ocean Acidification Innovation Act “will allow federal agencies to use existing funds to conduct prize contests – awarding competitors who find better ways to research, monitor and manage ocean acidification,” reports Seafood News. Work is already underway on companion bills in the Senate.
  • An FDA study conducted in three U.S. cities in the mid-Atlantic region found high levels of PFAs chemicals – also known as “forever chemicals” – in tilapia, cod, salmon, shrimp, and catfish products sold at grocery stores and supermarkets. The PFAs levels ranged from 134 parts per trillion to 865 parts per trillion. Seafoodsource.com reports, “FDA spokesperson Tara Rabin told the AP that her agency rated PFAs as ‘not likely to be a human health concern,’ but the levels of chemical contamination found in the seafood tested were more than double the FDA’s recommended 70-parts-per-trillion limit for safe drinking water.”
  • Maine’s elver season effectively ended last week when nearly 100% of the catch limit had been reached. The value of the 2019 elver harvest topped $20 million for the second year in a row and was the fourth most lucrative on record. The average price per pound was more than $2,000.
  • The New England Fishery Management Council meets in Portland, ME next week, June 11-13, for its annual June meeting. The Council is expected to approve a range of alternatives to be analyzed for Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, which is intended to improve monitoring and catch accountability in the groundfish fishery. The Council will also take final action on 2019-2021 Atlantic herring catch specifications, receive a briefing on the Modern Fish Act, and receive an update from the Take Reduction Team about measures to protect North Atlantic right whales. The meeting is open to the public.

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