National Fisherman


CAMBRIDGE — A team of scientists at the UMCES Horn Point Laboratory has been developing a computer model to visualize where free-floating oyster larvae are likely to settle and grow to adulthood. The National Science Foundation funded their five-year initiative, which will provide management crews with new tools to curb Chesapeake Bay’s sinking oyster population.
 
“Our main objectives for this grant are to test and advance a new technology for identifying oyster larvae,” said Dr. Elizabeth North, a teacher and researcher at Horn Point. “We hope to apply this technology to aid oyster restoration efforts.”
 
Oysters spend their initial life stage adrift in the water column. North and her colleagues observe how winds, tides, and freshwater flow influence larval movements year to year. Their analysis of these physical-biological relationships can provide insight on the circulation patterns, swimming behavior, and long-term survival of young oysters, as well as young mussels and clams in the Bay.
 
“We’re trying to validate larval transport models that inform us where oyster larvae travel,” said Jake Goodwin, a Ph.D. candidate advised by North at Horn Point. Goodwin has studied oysters for over 10 years.
 
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Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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