National Fisherman

The hungry critter's first dish was mussels. Then scallops. Now it's soft-shell clams. And some fear lobsters will be next. European green crabs are devouring a shellfish buffet along Maine's seashore, plundering populations in their wake. To get a snapshot of just how severe the problem is, clammers, scientists, and marine officials took a survey today along Maine's coast.
 
Clammer Chad Coffin says there is a force to be reckoned with in Maine's ocean: Green crabs, he says, are dominating hundreds - if not thousands - of square miles of the intertidal zone, a favored habitat of clams.
 
"The Maine shellfish industry is in deep trouble," Coffin says. "We think that we're only may two years away from really no commercial viability in the state on softshell clams, which has been, historically and traditionally, one of the most important and economically valuable resources on the coast of Maine."
 
Clams are the third most lucrative commercial fishery in Maine, and green crabs are their number one threat. Clammers, marine officials and scientists are banding together to devise a strategy to stop the voracious predator. But first they need to get a better understanding of exactly where green crabs are, and how many of them are out there. 
 
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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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