August 28, 2013
Boston — While the Bay State fishing fleet’s haul of cod has dropped precipitously, the waters now teem with others species that had not been present in such previously cool waters and several that are not common on American menus.
“The biomass is growing, but it’s not necessarily the most marketable fish,” Laura Foley Ramsden, a member of the New England Fishery Management Council and owner of M.F. Foley Fish Company, told the News Service. She said, “The biomass of species has actually grown since the Sustainable Fisheries Act was enacted. I should be clear, though, because there are certainly people that are hurting, lifelong fishermen that are unable to afford fishing.”
Meanwhile, scientists are developing a new method for measuring fish populations, similar to the photographs used to calculate the number of scallops on Georges Bank, which might one day replace the current system of dragging a net and counting the species that are hauled up by it.
“Now we’re applying specially designed cameras that takes stereo images of these fish, measures them and enumerates them with infrared lasers. So we’re going to drag nets but not catch any fish. We’ll be imaging them, and doing something very similar as we do with the sea scallop survey,” said Paul Diodati, director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries and an NEFMC member, speaking at last week’s Gaming Commission meeting.