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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 »

Tragedy of the New England Fishing Commons

Fisheries—especially New England fisheries—are a common example used to illustrate the tragedy of the commons, and a recent New York Times Op-ed titled “Where Have All the Cod Gone?” emphasizes just this. NOAA’s recent interim Gulf of Maine cod measures were an important step in addressing this problem, but if history tells us anything, more action is necessary. Habitat protection is one of the best ways to help fish stocks recover. … More Info »