National Fisherman

There has been a lot of hand-wringing over whether the rampant shell disease afflicting the southern New England lobsters has begun to inch its way north to the colder waters of Cape Ann and the rest of the Gulf of Maine.

Pish-posh, say the scientists and local lobstermen.

"It's really much ado about nothing up in Gloucester and around Cape Ann," said Bob Glenn, the New Bedford-based chief marine fisheries biologist for the state's Division of Marine Fisheries. "We've had high incidences of shell disease south of Cape Cod since the late '90s. That's really where the problem is, down in southern New England waters where it's much warmer."

Glenn said that, on average, as many as 22 percent of the lobsters harvested out of the warmer New England waters south of Cape Cod have contracted the bacteria-induced epizootic shell disease that, at worse, wholly erodes their shells or, at best, leaves their shells covered with unsightly lesions.

"Up around Gloucester, it's much less, usually 1 percent or less of the lobsters landed," Glenn said. "The highest we ever saw up there was 3.1 percent in 2003 and 2.2 percent in 2012."

That's good news not only for Gloucester lobstermen, but for lobster lovers throughout the region.

That's because Gloucester, according to the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association, is home to more lobstermen (145) and more lobsters landed (2.27 million pounds in 2011) than any other of the Bay State's 52 ports.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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