National Fisherman

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. – Rain and sleet smack the surface of Ninigret Pond as oyster farmer Jules Opton-Himmel fumbles with a stalled outboard motor. Not much is going his way this morning.

He's under pressure to harvest on this mid-February day to make an on-time afternoon delivery to a local raw bar. On-board, he's trying to impress a top chef from one of Newport's most exclusive restaurants – and his pontoon boat is stuck in a field of slushy ice not even halfway out into the lagoon where he grows oysters.

"Everything going wrong – I'd say that's a pretty typical day," Opton-Himmel jokes, just moments before part of the outboard engine broke off, sinking into the icy water.

As New England's waters have become cleaner in recent decades, growers like Opton-Himmel have seeded the coast with oyster farms. As their efforts start to bear fruit, the ocean impacts of climate change may test the mettle of the burgeoning industry.

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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