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Trump’s National Ocean Proclamation Covfefe, Confusing

Following the tradition of those who have come before him, President Trump proclaimed June National Oceans Month. However, as has been his modus operandi, Trump broke ranks with his predecessors. Instead of using National Ocean Month as a platform for promoting conservation, Trump seized the moment to suggest ways to exploit and destroy our oceans treasures. Marine life had better take cover, because National Ocean Month under President Trump means oil drilling destruction and favoring commercial interests over environmental protections. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 3

In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, value of Maine lobster exports to China on pace to triple for 2016; quota for elver could change in 2018; witch flounder catch limit doubles; Maine state representatives propose new lobster bills; Maine man tackles commercial fishing without a net; lobstermen question need for restrictions to help species; fishery managers seek to avoid another herring shortage; and New England’s effort to research declining shrimp is underway. … More Info »

A Vote To Be Thankful For: Council Says No Lobster and Crab Exemption from Coral Amendment

It is important to acknowledge when a good management decision has been made, and last week the New England Fishery Management Council did just that. For the second time, the Council voted against a motion that would have exempted the lobster and crab pot/trap fisheries in the Gulf of Maine from analysis in the draft Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment, notwithstanding barely-veiled warnings of civil disobedience from some lobster quarters in Maine. The vote was the right one. … More Info »

The Plight of the Puffin: Protect Our Fish, Our Birds, and Our Ocean Ecosystem

This summer, sadly, the puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island are starving due to a food shortage. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, typically 60 percent of nests produce fledglings –birds that fly off to sea at the end of summer. Only 12 percent of nests produced fledglings this year; that’s just 320 chicks. Worse yet, the chicks are undersized and the scientists studying the colony do not expect them to survive to breeding age. What’s causing the food shortage on Machias Seal Island resulting in the worst breeding season on record, and what can we do to help? … More Info »

Proposed rule a certain mistake for river herring and shad

The proposed 2016-2018 management measures for the Atlantic herring fishery set catch limits for Atlantic herring and adjust limits, or “catch caps,” on the amount of allowable river herring and shad bycatch by the herring fleet. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, as well as the Atlantic herring fishery management plan, are clear in their requirements and goals on the need to minimize bycatch to the extent practicable; however, NOAA Fisheries preliminarily supports the NEFMC’s recommendation to increase the river herring and shad catch caps. This is a clear inconsistency with the law and management goals. … More Info »

The Right Rope for Right Whales

Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the leading causes of injury and death for endangered North Atlantic right whales. According to the New England Aquarium, more than 70 percent of the population has scars from fishing gear. This is a serious issue for an animal whose population numbers are in the hundreds (some 550 are left) and whose feeding grounds double as a busy fishing area. That is why the New England Aquarium is working with local fishermen to develop a new type of fishing rope, as recently highlighted by the Boston Globe. … More Info »

Proposed Rules Likely to Hurt Groundfish Fishery

The comment period for the proposed Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery Management Plan closed last week, and NOAA Fisheries will now review the comments before issuing a final decision on two important issues: 2016-2018 catch limits for its 20 managed groundfish stocks and the adjustment of at-sea monitoring requirements. It may be beating dead horse, but it’s still important to reiterate the major sustainability and conservation concerns that should be considered with this proposed rule. … More Info »

Atlantic Spiny Dogfish, the Comeback Shark

We bring to our fish-loving friends a miraculous fish – the Atlantic spiny dogfish. This groundfish (which…SURPRISE! is actually a shark) suffered a serious population decline in the 1990s, but stocks have since recovered. In fact, the dogfish is now the largest shark fishery in the U.S. … More Info »

Seafood Expo, a Free Sample Frenzy

Yesterday I got out of the office to spend the afternoon at the North America Seafood Expo (formerly the International Boston Seafood Show). Having never been to an expo of any kind I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I never expected anything so huge! More than 1,100 exhibitors gathered at the expo to show off their products ranging from fresh seafood and aquaculture to the latest seafood processing technologies to food safety services. Some vendors were even dressed up to promote their products; I saw at least one mermaid and one catfish suit. … More Info »

Massachusetts Releases the MA Ocean Management Plan 2.0 – Leading the Nation in Comprehensive Ocean Planning and Management

In early January 2015, Massachusetts issued the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. Major highlights of the revised plan include updates to the plan’s science and data foundation, identification of preliminary offshore renewable energy transmission corridors, establishment of standards for offshore sand and gravel extraction for beach renourishment, and a schedule for ocean development mitigation fees. … More Info »