National Fisherman


NEW BEDFORD — NOAA scientists have found more evidence that not only are fish migrating toward colder waters, the specific zooplankton on which they feed has moved along with them.

Kevin Friedman and his colleagues at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center said that changing water temperatures and current patterns "have profoundly affected key Northeast U.S. Continental shelf zooplankton species in recent decades, and may be influencing the recovery of Atlantic cod and other fish stocks in the region."

Zooplankton species critical for the survival of Atlantic cod larvae have thinned out in the same areas where Atlantic cod have struggled to rebuild, the study found.

"Temperature is a governing factor in the growth, reproduction and distribution of marine organisms. Shifting temperature distributions, whether triggered by natural or human factors, can cause the redistribution of plankton communities on regional and basin-wide scales," said Friedland.

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Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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