National Fisherman


May 17, 2013 — The following is a summary of the finding of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute Workshop, "Incorporating Environmental Change in Assessments and Management", held May 7-8 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology.

Scientists and fishermen from throughout New England contributed to a workshop aimed at identifying ways to account for environmental change in fishery science and management of New England groundfish. The workshop was hosted by The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute as the first in a series that forms an end-to-end review of groundfish stock assessments and management. The workshop identified changes in the ocean environment that have occurred in the New England region, with consideration of future changes and effects on fish stocks. Considering case studies from New England and other regions, methods to account for environmental effects were reviewed as well as the information needed to apply such methods to New England groundfish assessments.

Profound changes in the regional marine environment were documented including:

- atmospheric patterns (e.g., recent reversal of the North Atlantic Oscillation),

- oceanography (e.g., extremely warm temperatures in 2012, recent indices of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation are near record high, increased winter heat budget in the Gulf of Maine, acidification, fresher water on Georges Bank and saltier water in the deep basins of the Gulf of Maine, increasing stratification of the water column in the Gulf of Maine and on the Scotian Shelf),

- and ecology (e.g., increased productivity of phytoplankton, declining zooplankton biomass, shifts in zooplankton species composition and smaller size distribution, habitat degradation and increases in many important predator populations).

Many of the recently observed changes in the marine ecosystem are expected to continue.

Read the full story at Saving Seafood>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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