Tagged bycatch

Lost in the Fog

I was having a bit of an out-of-the-body experience last week when the Council’s Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) re-thought setting the Acceptable BIOLOGICAL Catch (ABC) for the collapsed Gulf of Maine cod stock. Most of the debate was driven by economic issues, not biological issues. The discussion was focused mainly on identifying the various estimated economic impacts associated with various ABC levels. There was surprisingly little said about whether any catch of the collapsed cod population was acceptable. … More Info »

Atlantic Forage Fish Need Public Oversight of the Industrial Trawl Fleet

Scientists and fishermen agree that the industrial midwater trawl fleet is taking a toll on many species on the Atlantic Coast. The massive nets of these vessels kill millions of river herring and, increasingly, the juveniles of some commercially important groundfish such as haddock. Unfortunately, an important action to rein in this damage is facing a substantial delay. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 25

Gray Seals

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Chatham fishermen criticize plans for the distribution of federal disaster aid to Massachusetts fishermen; WBUR highlights Cape Cod fishermen struggling with the effects of depleted stocks; Massachusetts bans the possession of shark fins; Senator Begich releases a new version of his Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization bill; WGBH discusses the effects of climate change on fisheries; Senator Murkowski introduces legislation to block the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; NEFMC executive director Tom Nies says Oceana’s bycatch report is misleading; growing gray seal populations cause controversy; local lobstermen oppose rules intended to reduce whale entanglements; the Portland Press Herald talks to a lobsterman who has been fishing for 77 years. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, July 4

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA revises carryover rules to comply with a court ruling; the ASMFC discusses elver regulations; dam removals on the Kennebec River have helped river herring populations recover; the Nemasket River herring run declines; dead menhaden found floating off Virginia may be linked to an Omega Protein vessel; an editorial calls byatch “a frightening waste of fish”; Maine lobstermen are unhappy about new rules to reduce whale entanglements; Massachusetts lifts red tide shellfish closures; oyster reef restoration in the Great Bay estuary is making good progress; an editorial highlights the threat of ocean acidification and calls for local responses; a letter to the editor argues a strong Magnuson-Stevens Act can strengthen local seafood markets; climate change alters the marine life of Long Island Sound. … More Info »

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, June 20

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the NEFMC maintains the current haddock catch cap for the herring industry; John Kerry’s oceans conference coincides with two executive actions by President Obama; a herring quota overage will affect other marine life, too; the Washington Post highlights successes in forage fish conservation; an editorial calls for more cooperative fisheries research; Capt. John McMurray says striped bass are a cautionary tale for what could happen with more flexibility in federal fisheries management; the NEFMC continues work on its Omnibus Habitat Amendment; the City of New Bedford releases a plan for groundfish industry revitalization. … More Info »

New England’s Fishing Pathology

The industrial herring fleet recently overshot its quota for the herring management area 1B by some 60%. Sixty percent! That is like driving 104 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. This incident—and particularly the herring fleet’s response to it—are symptomatic of a deeper pathology in some of New England’s fisheries that should not be allowed to just fade away as another bad memory of a poorly managed fishery. … More Info »

When the Herring Fleet Takes More than Just Herring

The New England Fishery Management Council will take up an emergency request from the Atlantic herring industry this week regarding limits on the amount of bycatch, or non-target species, the herring trawlers should be allowed. The council action comes as the herring fleet is attracting media scrutiny for the amount of sea life that ends up in their nets other than Atlantic herring. … More Info »

Herring Industry’s Abuse of Resource is a Big Deal

Pair trawlers off the coast of Rhode Island

Cape Cod Times writer Doug Fraser correctly reports that the activity of the industrial herring fleet is a very big deal for the other fishermen plying those waters. That’s because the massive nets of the herring trawl vessels once again blew through the quota for this sensitive area, scooping up 160 percent of the allotted catch. This is the third time in six years that the industry has greatly exceeded its quota in the area, known as herring management area 1B. … More Info »

New England Inches Toward Improved Fisheries Management, But There’s a Catch

This week the New England Fishery Management Council holds the first meeting of a committee aiming to revive efforts on Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management, or EBFM. This is great news, but also greatly overdue. … More Info »

Reducing and Minimizing Bycatch

According to some estimates, as much as 40 percent of fish caught around the globe is discarded at sea, dead or dying. We can’t afford to continue this wasteful practice. Stopping the unnecessary squandering of nontarget fish in many U.S. fisheries and reducing the needless incidental killing of untold seabirds, whales, and other marine life by indiscriminate fishing gear is central to a new, national approach to ecosystem-based fisheries management. … More Info »