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

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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