National Fisherman

YARMOUTH – The number of baby lobsters settling off the rocky coast of Maine continues to steadily decline – possibly foreshadowing an end to the recent record catches that have boosted New England’s lobster fishery, scientists say.
A University of Maine survey of 11 Gulf of Maine locations suggests that numbers of young lobsters have declined by more than half their 2007 levels – significant since lobsters typically take about eight years to reach the legal harvesting size.
The downward trend has lobstermen, retailers, state officials and ocean scientists concerned that the impact could soon be felt on dinner tables nationwide. Maine lobsters were 85 percent of the nation’s lobster catch in 2012.
Warmer ocean temperatures, pollution, atmospheric conditions and changes in predation and availability of food could all be to blame, say scientists, state officials and industry leaders. Lobsters are very sensitive to even subtle changes in temperature, scientists say.
Maine Department of Marine Resources officials say the decline does not appear to be the product of overfishing, as some environmental groups contend.
Read the full story at the Kennebec Journal>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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