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New England Fishery Council Considers a Clam Dredge Exemption

Whether on a warm summer evening or a frigid winter night, a good bowl of New England clam chowder always hits the spot. Unfortunately, the large scale clamming that goes into producing a bowl of clam chowder is one of the most destructive forms of fishing there is. And now, the clam industry in New England seems to be getting special treatment despite its impact on ocean habitat. … More Info »

H.R. 200 Hurts Fish and Fishermen

Yesterday, in a troubling vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 200, jeopardizing the future of sustainable fisheries and insulting the years of bipartisan, science-based efforts that have defined fisheries management in the United States. … More Info »

Atlantic cod is still a world of unknown, so why raise the catch limit?

New England’s groundfish fishery is a particularly tricky one to manage, and I don’t envy those who are faced with the task. But when it comes to Atlantic cod—still persistently overfished and subject to overfishing in the Gulf of Maine after 28 years of management – you just have to ask, what are they thinking? … More Info »

Fishery Council’s Coral Protections Are Progress, Though More Could Have Been Done

Last week, the New England Fishery Management Council approved the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. Overall, this amendment is a win for New England’s ocean, protecting more than 25,000 square miles of fragile seafloor habitat. But we can’t help but examine the process behind this management decision. … More Info »

Ocean Acidification Threatens Our Shellfish

The Massachusetts legislature is current considering a number of bills regarding ocean acidification. If passed into law, the bills will establish a special commission or task force to study the effects of coastal and ocean acidification on coastal communities, fishing and aquaculture industries, and local commercially-harvested species. These bills come at a very critical time when what we do or don’t do next to address the effects of ocean acidification could very well alter the Commonwealth’s culture and economy. … More Info »

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 »