National Fisherman

ROCKPORT, Maine - Preventing endangered northern right whales from becoming entangled in lobster gear could be as simple as changing the color of rope, a whale researcher says.
 
If the whales can see the fishing gear more clearly, then they are better able to avoid it, said Scott Kraus, a leading researcher on northern right whales.
 
"We know they can see the ropes. We thought by making them more visible they might be like traffic cones" by steering whales away from danger, Kraus said at the Maine Fishermen's Forum, an annual fishing industry event that draws together fishermen, regulators, researchers and other industry officials.
 
North Atlantic right whales, whose large eyes are adapted to the low light of the ocean, may be more sensitive to certain colors, the New England Aquarium scientist said.
 
Kraus and other researchers set out three years ago to determine whether the whales respond to some colors more than others. Intercepting feeding whales in Cape Cod Bay, off the shore of Massachusetts, they placed in the water lengths of colored PVC pipe, representing pieces of rope that attach traps to buoys.
 
When the whales approached, the scientists measured the distance from the whales' eyes at the moment when they reacted to the suspended "rope."
 
Not all colors evoked the same reaction.
 
Read the full story at the Cape Cod Times>>

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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