Posted |  Blog Archives

Celebrating New England’s Oceans on World Oceans Day

This Sunday is World Oceans Day, an international event to celebrate and honor the ocean. World Oceans Day is a global event, but we thought we’d bring it back home to New England by celebrating the incredible marine habitat in the Gulf of Maine. … More Info »

Maine’s Most Lucrative Fishery Threatened by Pesticides?

Last month, Maine legislator Walter Kumiega introduced a bill that would ban the use of two pesticides, methoprene and resmethrin, in any body of water or area in the state that drains into the Gulf of Maine. We’re all familiar with some of the negative consequences of certain pesticides—from DDT’s effect on birds described in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to the more recent concerns about some chemicals’ role in crashing honeybee populations. But Kumiega’s bill is unusual in that it seeks to protect a marine species, not a terrestrial one—lobsters. … More Info »

Red’s Best Charts a Path Forward for Locally Sourced Seafood

Red’s Best is developing innovative technology to change the way fishermen sell to distributors and the way restaurateurs and consumers trace their seafood from boat to plate. And notwithstanding the gloom surrounding some of New England fishing operations, his business is thriving—since beginning six years ago, it’s grown from one employee to about fifty. … More Info »

Cool Fish, Hot Water – Black Sea Bass

Black sea bass have historically been found throughout the mid-Atlantic and south to the Florida Keys. The Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries says they “generally do not occur in the Gulf of Maine”, and the area around Cape Cod was once the northern edge of their range. But that range seems to be shifting. … More Info »

The Most Valuable Fishery You’ve Never Heard Of

On May 31, Maine’s elver fishing season came to a close. For the small number of Maine fishermen who can make over $100,000 in two months capturing elvers, the end of the season may come as a bit of a letdown. For the regulators and conservation officers who try to manage the fishery, however, the close probably comes none too soon. … More Info »

At Sustaining Coastal Cities Conference, Scientists Point to Ocean Solutions

Last week, ocean users and marine scientists gathered at Northeastern University to hear an excellent series of talks on the future of ocean sustainability at the Sustaining Coastal Cities Conference. With a particular focus on climate change and the health of fisheries, the conference brought global issues home to New England and demonstrated this region’s strength in marine science. … More Info »

The Fish are Talking, but Can We Listen?

The scientists who study cod populations have tried a lot of different ways to figure out where cod aggregate and to observe their behavior, like trawl surveys, sonar, and even underwater video cameras. But recently, a team of federal and state fisheries scientists have developed a new way to observe groups of cod. Rather than watching them, they’re listening to them—and they’re hearing some pretty interesting stories that could help us protect this depleted species. … More Info »

NOAA’s 2011 Groundfish Report by the Numbers

On December 26th, NOAA released its “2011 Final Report on the Performance of the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery (May 2011-April 2012).” Overall, the report indicates that groundfish catch and net revenues are increasing steadily, although some stocks, most notably Georges Bank haddock, are fished at a level far below the annual catch limit. Consolidation and equity issues are still a major concern. Measures of fleet inequality generally improved from 2010 levels, and the decline in boat numbers has slowed noticeably following a sharp drop-off between 2009 and 2010. Here are some highlights of the data. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 21

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the NEFMC Groundfish Committee proposes opening closed areas; blanket shark fin bans may hurt the sustainable dogfish industry; Gloucester fishing personalities comment on warm waters this summer; a NOAA report ranks New Bedford first in the country in fishing revenues; cod stocks move north in response to record-setting warm water temperatures; the scallop quota could take a heavy cut over the next two years due to poor recruitment. … More Info »

Booming New England Seal Population Creates a Management Challenge

Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in 1972, forty years ago. Intended to slow the precipitous decline of marine mammal populations due to human activities, the act prohibited the killing, harassment, or excessive disturbance of marine mammals in United States waters. For seals in New England—mainly harbor seals and gray seals—the MMPA’s protections effected a massive boom in population. … More Info »