National Fisherman

With the start of boating season fast approaching, New Jersey will conduct a statewide cleanup of debris dumped in tidal waterways by superstorm Sandy. "It is Sandy debris we are looking at, stuff that was washed out by the storm that is causing a navigational problem or an environmental or ecological problem," Larry Ragonese, press director for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said in an interview last week.

According to Ragonese, the agency will hire three companies to locate debris using sonar technology and remove it from state tidal waterways, including the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and tributaries, and the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays.

"We're anticipating a full-court press on waterway debris for the next several months," he said. "We'd like to get as much of the recreation and commercial fishing waterways open for the summer season — so you are not doing some joy-riding on your boat on June 28 and run into some ship that is underwater."

Ragonese said the state has not previously conducted such a widespread cleanup of the waterways.

Read the full story at the Independent>>

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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