Written by Jen Finn
At face value, a new bill that would free up Massachusetts lobster dealers and others to sell lucrative tails and other lobster parts to in-state restaurants only makes sense, especially since they were already free to sell for out-of-state use.
Indeed, the idea that national restaurant chains such as Red Lobster could not sell Massachusetts-landed lobster tails at their restaurants in the Bay State may seem absurd — especially given that meant they had to import those spiny lobster tails from places such as the Gulf of Mexico, South Africa and even Australia, theoretically cutting off the market to local lobstermen and wholesalers.
But before the state Legislature rushes into a measure that has all the best economic intentions, it's also important to make certain that there are protections aimed at addressing the chief reason for this limitation in the first place. If — or more likely when — lawmakers open the domestic Massachusetts lobster tail market, they must be certain they're not also opening new avenues to poachers who might try to bring the tails of egg-bearing or short lobsters to market as well in a move that could have dire impacts on the overall health of lobster stocks down the road.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>
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.Read more...
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.Read more...