Posted in New England Fisheries

NMFS Receives Failing Grades on 2018 Status Report

NMFS recently released its 2018 Status of the Stocks report. While general progress is being made towards sustainable fisheries at the national level, fish stocks in New England and highly migratory species continue to struggle under poor management. It’s time for NMFS to take responsibility for both its successes and failures. … More Info »

The Cost of Delay in Fisheries Management

People tend to equate taking no action with doing no harm. Yet by taking no action when action is called for, fishery managers can do real harm to fish stocks. … More Info »

Feds Offer More Excuses for Reckless Management of Cod

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced annual catch limits (ACLs) for New England’s groundfish stocks in fishing year 2019. Alarmingly, the new ACL for Georges Bank cod represents a 15 percent increase from the 2018 catch limit, and the agency’s justifications for doing so are sketchy to say the least. … More Info »

Feds Propose New Management Measures for Gulf of Maine Cod Recreational Fishery

Recreational fishing is a favorite pastime for many New Englanders. Unfortunately, due to low population levels and concerns about catch limit overages, the recreational possession of New England’s most iconic fish – Atlantic cod – has been prohibited in the Gulf of Maine (federal waters) in recent years. For now, this prohibition is still in place, but NOAA Fisheries has proposed reopening the Gulf of Maine cod recreational fishery for the 2019 fishing year. … More Info »

A New Groundfish Season Brings More of the Same

The 2019 fishing year kicked off yesterday, May 1, for New England’s groundfish fishery. Given the federal government shutdown earlier this year, though, management changes – such as updated catch limits – that would typically come with a new fishing year will be slightly delayed. Unfortunately, a 15 percent catch limit increase for Georges Bank cod is still on the table. … More Info »

Mass DMF Suspends Important Groundfish Closure

If there’s a fish that defines Massachusetts, it’s Atlantic cod. After all, there is a wooden carving of one hanging in the State House. But unfortunately, our favorite fish has seen better days. Centuries of intense fishing have forced regional cod stocks to historic lows, and that’s why it was concerning when the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries decided to suspend an area closure that would have provided important protection for Atlantic cod in local waters. … More Info »

Gillnet Interactions with Right Whales Fall Under Scrutiny

As the New England Fishery Management Council begins work on its 2019 priorities, a group of six conservation organizations called on our regional managers to develop measures that minimize interactions between Council-managed fisheries that use sink gillnets and critically-endangered North Atlantic right whales. … More Info »

NOAA Fisheries Reverses Course On Herring Catch In 2019

In a pleasant surprise, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule today that lowers the catch limits of Atlantic herring in 2019, specifically to account for its role in the ecosystem. Catch limits were expected to be reduced to prevent overfishing, but the size of this reduction was a surprise because the agency had originally proposed limits back in November that were almost 30 percent higher than recommendations from the New England Fishery Management Council and its scientific advisors. … More Info »

Environmental Groups Call on Fishery Managers to Fix New England’s Failing Monitoring Program

Conservation Law Foundation and Environmental Defense Fund have challenged NOAA Fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the New England Fishery Management Council to properly manage the region’s ailing groundfish stocks. In a letter sent to the leaders of these agencies, CLF and EDF call for improvements to monitoring practices so that managers can make informed decisions. … More Info »

A Look Back at 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the topics and top stories highlighted on Talking Fish this year. Per usual, it was quite the busy year for New England fisheries and ocean issues. … More Info »