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

The New England Fishery Management Council recently elected Dr. John F. Quinn of Massachusetts and E. F. “Terry” Stockwell III of Maine to serve respectively as chairman and vice chairman in the year ahead. The two have led the Council since 2014 but reversed roles this year. 

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Vigor will debut an affordable 142-foot freezer longliner designed specifically for North Pacific fishing at the 2016 Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle.

 

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