In the News

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 6

Image via New England Fisheries Science Center.

  • Peer reviews of 14 groundfish stock assessments will take place next week at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. Detailed information about each stock under review is available through NEFSC’s data portal. According to NEFSC, the entire morning session on Day 2 will be devoted to Gulf of Maine cod because “[t]he oversight panel identified this stock as one as requiring more extensive peer review than others.” In addition to reviewing stocks, there will be discussion about some potential issues affecting the assessments, such as how to treat misreported catch associated with the Carlos Rafael case and how to incorporate new recreational catch estimates. The meeting is open to public.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sent a letter to the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers asking for new measures to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. AG Healy said in a statement, “Only coordinated immediate action will save the North Atlantic right whale from extinction. Massachusetts already has some of the strongest protections for right whales, but a real solution requires a regional approach to protect the species.” Read the letter here.
  • It was a tough summer for the Ipswich clam industry. Rain led to closures in the spring, then there was red tide in July and more rain closures in August. The federal government sets standards for red tide and rain closures. Clam Constable Scott LaPreste said, “We all adhere to federal standards, so there can be interstate commerce on this.” LaPreste estimates that local clams are worth up to $14 million to the local economy.
  • The National Science Foundation is providing a five-year, $20 million grant for a new study that hopes to revolutionize ocean and coastal management. The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the University of Maine, along with other collaborators, are working to develop a DNA-based toolset to monitor marine life. Eureka Alert reports, “The project leverages developments in the understanding of environmental DNA (eDNA) – genetic traces left behind by all plants, animals, and microbes. Even a small water sample contains a massive amount of this information, which provides the potential to construct a snapshot of the local ecosystem at any given time.” Read more here.

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