Tagged NMFS

Fish Talk in the News – Friday, April 4

In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the IPCC releases a new report on climate change, including marine impacts; NOAA is seeking comments on developing its own sustainable seafood certification; Maine’s DMR warns lobster fishermen to prepare for a decline in landings; dogfish are abundant in the Gulf of Maine, but there’s no market for them; alleged culprits in last summer’s Cape Cod oyster thefts appear in court; the Large Pelagics Research Center hosts a series of talks in April; NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory may close; a Maine elver fisherman pleads guilty to underreporting his $700,000 income. … More Info »

Why can’t the US be more like the Canadians?

You don’t usually hear much Canada envy from New England’s fishing industry. But last week, commercial fishermen Vito Giacalone, Richie Canastra, and Jimmy Odlin wrote to the Boston Globe to praise Canada’s haddock regulations, which they say have allowed Canadian fishermen to catch a far larger portion of their haddock quota—93 percent between 2004 and 2011, compared to United States fishermen’s 11 percent over the same period. … More Info »

Head in the Sand: Industry Steams in Full Reverse on Need for Habitat Protection

With this developing tragedy as a backdrop, the New England Fishery Management Council this week undertakes its first major step in defining protection for vulnerable ocean habitat – the same habitat that our depleted groundfish need if they are ever to recover. The decisions of the Council and NMFS on the pending Omnibus Habitat Amendment will be critical to the future ecological and commercial health and resilience of our ocean and will provide an indication of the seriousness with which our fisheries and ocean managers take this impending crisis. … More Info »

New Face at NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has a new leader. Eileen Sobeck, who has served 30 years in the Interior Dept., Dept. of Justice, and NOAA’s general counsel office, was appointed Wednesday as assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. … More Info »

Keeping Watch: Another attempt to monitor the largest vessels fishing our waters

The New England Fishery Management Council is poised once again to address the inadequate monitoring of a major fishery—the midwater trawl vessels of the Atlantic herring fleet. Fishermen occasionally bristle at having observers on their boats. But they also know that we simply can’t make good decisions about our fisheries if we don’t know what’s happening on the water. Without an accurate assessment of fishing effort, mortality, and bycatch, fisheries management is akin to flying in the dark. … More Info »

A Squandered Opportunity for Habitat Protection

The New England Fisheries Management Council is struggling to effectively manage significantly depleted stocks like cod, yellowtail flounder and Gulf of Maine haddock while simultaneously coping with unprecedented changes to the ocean environment caused by climate change. These challenges cry out for long term strategies designed to protect and stabilize ocean habitat and buffer against climate impacts. Why, then, is the NEFMC on the verge of squandering an opportunity to employ such critical strategies in its long-awaited fish habitat protection plan? … More Info »

Another One Bites the Dust?

Georges Bank yellowtail was once one of the major species sustaining the New Bedford fleet. Caution should have led managers to consider closing this fishery and closing the areas supporting the remnant yellowtail breeding populations. That apparently was not even on the table. … More Info »

Fisheries Recovery Requires Action

Balance is an important component of developing opinions, of course, but more so are those of substance, fact and context. That’s why we found the Boston Globe’s recent editorial regarding the proposed opening of protected areas on Georges Bank to be fairly lazy in its analysis of the dire state of New England’s fisheries. … More Info »

Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Opening Closed Areas Isn’t Worth the Risk

New England’s cod populations are at their lowest levels in history, thanks to decades of chronic overfishing and habitat destruction. Fisheries scientists agree that protecting vital fish habitat is key to restoring these once-plentiful fish species. How does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) respond? Yesterday NOAA proposed to allow new bottom trawling and other forms of commercial fishing in areas of New England’s ocean that have been protected for almost twenty years. … More Info »

CLF, EJ to NMFS: Protect Habitat, End Overfishing and Bring Back Cod

Reinforcing the need to protect vital ocean habitat areas and end overfishing of New England’s severely depleted groundfish, the Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice filed a pair of lawsuits in federal district court challenging the shortsighted and damaging groundfish regulations developed by the New England Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the 2013 fishing year. … More Info »