UMass Dartmouth marine scientists say they have documented a major increase in the scallop population on Georges Bank.
A video-based survey conducted by the School for Marine Science and Technology over nine weeks showed a 32 percent increase in the scallop population since 2012. That's an increase in scallop meat weight from 243 million pounds two years ago to 320 million pounds this summer.
"We are really excited about this," said Department of Fisheries Oceanography Chair Kevin Stokesbury.
On average, U.S. scallop stock is made up of 8 billion individual shellfish. This study discovered 20 billion additional juvenile scallops in the Nantucket Lightship and along the Southern flank of Georges Bank.
The scallops have not yet matured to commercial size, something Stokesbury said will help sustain the fishery for the next decade.
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Big questions on bigeye tuna
A meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Samoa this week will discuss proposed Pacific bigeye tuna harvest cuts. Last month, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council wrote to NOAA Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries Russell Smith to oppose the cuts, noting that opening the management guidelines to review is contradictory to the guidelines themselves.
The measure in review states that the commission should review it “annually to ensure that the various provisions are having the intended effect(s). It is anticipated that significant new information will enable a further review in 2014."
“Unfortunately,” the council’s letter on behalf of the Hawaii Longline Association and the American Tunaboat Association points out, “there appears to be no new information to review this year with respect to the effectiveness of CMM 2013-01. Without new information, it is not possible to determine what, if anything, needs to be fixed in CMM 2013-01 with respect to eliminating bigeye overfishing.”
The measure, “has not been in effect for even a year, and the effects and effectiveness of the measure have not begun to be analyzed. Without such analysis, any attempts to change the measure are likely to be nothing more than guesses as to the best way to proceed, or proposals reflecting biases. We have no factual basis to say which provisions are or are not contributing to conservation of the bigeye stock. Even though we have information about fishery statistics up to 2013, we do not have any analysis of the extent to which those fishery patterns had been expected or intended when the measure was adopted last year. Also, there is inadequate information on compliance with either the FAD closures or bigeye catch limits.
“Therefore, we request that the United States propose that the commission task the WCPFC science provider or another independent team to provide a systematic and scientific review of the effectiveness of the” measure.
“Until such a review can be conducted and digested, we are strongly opposed to any additional WCPFC restrictions on U.S. tropical tuna fisheries.”
Environmental groups sued NMFS to eliminate the new bigeye fishing regulations, saying that separate catch limits for U.S. territories effectively and unfairly increase the harvest.
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Eric Haynes’ Cod Cakes
Wisdom from the Sea
Stories for Leaders to Navigate through Life's Turbulent Waters
By James Evanow
James Evanow, 2014
Softcover, 67 pp., $14.95
I never cease to be amazed at all the tasks that must be mastered to be successful skipper. Knowing how to catch a lot of fish is certainly a big part of the job but it's not all of it. Among other things, you also have to be a knowledgeable and proficient repairman who can fix equipment that breaks down at sea. You have to be able to navigate treacherous waters, understand meteorology, global market dynamics, economics, political and regulatory climates and more. And as captain, you have to be an effective leader.
How did you learn to be a leader? Did you take note of how the skippers you worked for handled things? Did you watch the way they dealt with crew members? How did they help you develop your leadership style when you finally became a captain?
Well, James Evanow, who boasts 24 years as a sea captain, explores the concept of leadership in his book "Wisdom from the Sea." In it, he uses his experiences at sea and relates them to leadership and life skills. Evanow's commercial fishing background informs his work today as a speaker who teaches corporate leaders how to communicate persuasively, build trust and become a strong leader that people want to follow.
In his introduction, Evanow says that he's written this book "using sea stories as anecdotes, in order to bring awareness about how we think and act, who we are and how we treat each other."
Evanow writes that people should lead "from a place of compassion, integrity, empathy and self control." That would seem to fly in the face of the stereotypical skipper who routinely screams at his crew.
In our June 1998 issue, we did a cover story on loud and proud skippers. "Everybody knows that, when space is tight, hours are long, money swims and somebody is moving too slowly, the skipper's going to be on the giving end of a blood-red dressing down," the story notes.
The screaming is just "part of the business," it continues. "And just as much a part of the business is laughing later — sometimes not until years later — about the time so-and-so lost his cool and left his crew crying like babies after an hour-long tirade."
In his early days as a skipper, Evanow may have been a screamer as well. "When I was younger, it was very difficult for me to be able to come from a position of positive leadership," he writes. "I would get very upset and angry with people when something would go wrong. I wouldn't be held accountable and, when I look back on this time in my life, I realize that many of my actions were based on what I believed I was supposed to do."
Evanow says he eventually realized that he acted that way because of what he'd seen other people do and how they reacted to situations. However, he decided to try and learn to think for himself how he wanted to act. Today he advocates developing what he calls emotional intelligence — in other words, your ability to recognize and deal with your emotions in a difficult situation and respond in a logical and controlled manner.
Interestingly, Evanow writes about how it wasn't always easy to hire solid deckhands to become part of a well-trained and efficient crew. Even so, he advocates interviewing prospective crew members properly to ensure that you hire the right people and select them for the right reasons.
I don't know if Evanow's book will help you become a better skipper. But it could make you think about what your leadership style is, and it offers up some ideas that you could add to your leadership arsenal.
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.