In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 4

Overlay of GMRI data sources used to build consensus on identifying Atlantic herring offshore spawning areas. Graphic via NEFMC.

  • October is National Seafood Month. Though there is always room for improvement, the U.S. is a global leader for sustainable seafood. According to NOAA Fisheries, “The recipe for sustainable seafood includes strong science, responsive management, and enforced compliance.” The agency has compiled a combination of videos and blogs to celebrate – learn more here.
  • The Gulf of Maine cod recreational fishery closed on September 30th. The fishery was open for two weeks from September 15-30. This was the first time that anglers could catch Gulf of Maine cod in recent years due to low population levels. Anglers can still catch and retain Gulf of Maine haddock.
  • Eleven of Carlos Rafael’s scallop vessels will stay in New Bedford. Quinn Fisheries recently announced that they closed the deal to buy six of the boats and the other five are being sold to other New Bedford-based owners. New Bedford has been the most valuable port in the U.S. for 18 consecutive years because of its scallop fishery.
  • At it’s meeting last week, the New England Fishery Management Council initiated a framework action to develop options to protect offshore spawning areas for Atlantic herring. GMRI, under contract with the Council, has already started to identify important spawning locations. According to the Council’s press release, “All data sources combined indicated that spawning activity is most concentrated in two locations along the northern edge of Georges Bank – one is in the west (Nantucket Shoals/Great South Channel) and one in the east (Northern Flank).” Work on this action will continue through 2020.
  • NOAA Fisheries is hosting three workshops throughout New England to gather feedback on recreational management measures. According to the agency, “The goal of the workshops is to facilitate a collaborative process to develop management measures for the recreational groundfish fishery that balance the need to prevent overfishing with enabling profitability in the for-hire fleet and providing worthwhile fishing opportunities for anglers.” Registration is currently open and you can find the schedule here.
  • In late September, a group of 18 scientists sent a letter to Senator Collins urging the importance of reducing entanglement risk to protect highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. As the Cape Cod Times reports, “The scientists have called on the state of Maine to support the National Marine Fisheries Service in developing new rules to protect the whales from lobster gear injuries [and that] the Maine lobster industry is ‘significantly underestimating’ the harm their equipment causes.”
  • The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Director, David Pierce, is retiring on November 1, 2019. Dr. Pierce has served as director for four years and spent 44 years as a DMF marine biologist. Dr. Pierce will also no longer be a voting member on the New England Fishery Management Council or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. A new DMF director has not yet been selected.


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