December 18 – There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – After being declared a “fishery disaster,” changes in regulations to allow bottom trawling in Cashes Ledge, Jeffreys Ledge and the only protected portion of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary seems counterintuitive to ever devising a long-term strategy that could help restore groundfish populations in the Gulf of Maine. At a time of the lowest recorded groundfish populations in history, how does it make sense to increase bottom trawling in the best, remaining habitat areas?
December 20 – The Bottom Line: Don’t Remove Protection When Cod Need It Most – New England is famous for cod fishing. But the industry is ailing – and the cure being proposed might be worse than the disease. A proposal by regional fisheries managers to reopen areas where groundfish are currently protected is a big step in the wrong direction.
December 21 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 21 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NEFMC opens closed areas and delays decisions on catch limits; ASMFC cuts menhaden catch 20%;NOAA will return $543,500 in fines; Brian Rothschild replaces as head of Marine Fisheries Institute; a Gloucester scallop boat goes missing; warm waters in the Gulf of Maine cause environmental change.