National Fisherman

In a deal favored by conservationists, regulators and watermen, Virginia will allow blue crabs to be harvested from the Chesapeake Bay an extra two weeks this year but will require a new collection system next year that's expected to limit catches of the prized seafood.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously for the compromise package Monday, which comes as seafood interests look to take advantage of a crab resurgence in recent years and as conservationists worry about blowing such gains.

Under the terms, watermen can continue gathering crabs through Dec. 15 - just in time for the holiday season - instead of stopping next week. Officials estimate an additional 350,000 pounds of crabs will be brought to market.

Read the full story at the Virginian-Pilot>>

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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