National Fisherman


ROCKPORT, Maine — In the ocean off Rhode Island, fisherman Rodman Sykes has noticed far fewer cold-water species like lobster and more warm-water species like mahi-mahi and electric rays cruise by his boat in recent summers.
 
“There’s been an awful lot of changes,” he told a roomful of fishermen and policymakers Saturday during a seminar on climate change and ocean acidification at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum that was hosted by the Island Institute. “‘What’s that? Get the book!’ We’ve been getting the book an awful lot more in the last few years.”
 
That dispatch from the immediate south gives Maine fishermen such as Steve Train cause for concern. The major fishery in the Gulf of Maine is lobsters, but the Casco Bay lobsterman said that in his 38 years of setting traps, he’s noticed the water is getting warmer and things are shifting here, too. Lately, he’s seen lots of anomalous species like red hake, turbot, squid, black sea bass and Maryland blue crabs in Maine waters but fewer native species like shrimp and cod.
 
“Climate change is certainly affecting not just the fishing, but the way we’re managing the fishing,” Train said. “The quantity of lobsters being caught for years was always heavier to the westward, lower to the eastward. Now, it’s flip-flopped.”
 
Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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