National Fisherman

COLLEGE PARK — The General Assembly passed a bill this week that would create a task force to evaluate effects of acidification in the Chesapeake Bay and other state waters and make recommendations on how to address the issue.

House Bill 118, which would form the task force and charge it to make recommendations by Jan. 1, 2015, passed with bipartisan support on Monday, the final day of the 2014 session. The state Department of Natural Resources would be required to provide staff to assist the task force.

Gov. Martin O’Malley has not indicated whether he will sign the legislation, a spokesman said.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and the House of Delegates passed it 104-32. Delegate Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, the bill’s sponsor, said some House Republicans opposed the bill because it relates to climate change, which scientists have tied to increases in acid levels in global waters.

As more carbon dioxide is released into the air, more is also absorbed into global waters, leading the water to become more acidic. This could make it more difficult for sea life, including oysters, to grow.

Read the full story at the Star Democrat>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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