Written by Linc Bedrosian
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fisherman in southwest Florida say octopuses are threatening to decimate their stone crab harvests.
Octopuses are intelligent, voracious predators. They can easily prey on stone crabs caught in traps in the Gulf of Mexico.
"They're real thick offshore. Past 30 feet deep, we're catching a lot of them," commercial fisherman Shane Dooley tells the News-Press (http://newspr.es/1euEITM ). "Some traps have two or three in them. They eat the crabs as soon as they get in, and they go from trap to trap."
All of Island Crab Co. owner Jeff Haugland's traps are in 40 to 55 feet of water.
"It's like a desert out there," he said. "My boats are seeing plenty of octopus, and they're seeing no stone crab, almost less than none."
Read the full story at Miami Herald>>
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
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.Read more...