National Fisherman


Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland are trying to better understand how the ecosystem of Casco Bay is changing. This summer, they launched a comprehensive survey of marine life in the bay that will unfold over the next 10 years. MPBN's Jennifer Rooks caught up with some of the researchers.

At the helm of this 16-foot Carolina skiff: research technician Zach Whitener, who, together with two college interns, is zooming around Casco Bay studying fish. The team comes into a small beach on Mackworth Island off Falmouth, sets out 50-yard-long seine net, pulls it to shore and starts to count and measure alewives, silversides and other species commonly found in these waters.

This team is taking part in a major new study of Casco Bay - a comprehensive survey looking at everything from plankton to groundfish. The project is called the Casco Bay Aquatic System Survey - or CBASS, for short.

"The idea is to follow the conditions in Casco Bay for 10 years, to get an idea of how the ecosystem might be responding to changes in climate, changes in ocean conditions and changes in land use practices," says project manager Graham Sherwood.

Read the full story at Maine Public Broadcasting>>

Want to read more about marine ecosystems? Click here...

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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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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