In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 11

Gulf of Maine cod are not on track to rebuild by 2024. Image via NEFSC/NOAA.

  • The Northeast Fisheries Science Center recently completed operational assessments of 14 groundfish stocks. Among the assessed stocks was Gulf of Maine cod, which continues to be overfished and subject to overfishing. Furthermore, the stock is not on target to rebuild by 2024. In its report on the assessment, State House News Service references a recent statement by Conservation Law Foundation’s Peter Shelley: “[The] iconic fish that gave Cape Cod its name has been in decline for decades because of intense fishing and poor management.” The New England Fishery Management Council’s Science and Statistical Committee meets next week to discuss overfishing limits and acceptable biological catches for groundfish stocks.
  • In effort to restore endangered Atlantic salmon populations, 15,000 adult salmon will be added to the Penobscot River over the next three years. The adult salmon are expected to produce up to 56 million eggs, though only a fraction is expected to survive and contribute to the wild population. State and federal governments as well as a Native American tribe are involved in the restoration efforts.
  • As ecoRI reports, “A new assessment has revealed that striped bass off the Atlantic coast are being depleted faster than they can replenish, and have been since 2013.” In response, the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission proposed various management actions with the goal of decreasing the fishing mortality rate to 18 percent below 2017 levels by 2020. The public comment period on the proposed actions closed this week and the Commission is schedule to make a decision on October 30. Read more here.
  • Researchers at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Center for Coastal Studies have conducted preliminary water quality tests after receiving reports from concerned fishermen about dead lobsters. Preliminary results show low dissolved oxygen levels in a bottom layer of the ocean in Cape Cod Bay. According to a Mass DMF senior biologist, low oxygen levels occur every year, but he has never seen them this low. As the Cape Cod Times reports, the low oxygen levels are due to warm surface water temperatures and lack of mixing.

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