December 10 – New England Council: Get Your Facts Straight Before Acting on Habitat – With New England’s groundfish populations at historic lows and the prognosis for recovery not getting any better wouldn’t you think that any decision affecting these places—even preliminary ones—would be made with a full review of the best and most complete scientific research and data? And yet it appears the NEFMC has plans to do precisely the opposite.
December 11 – Fish First, Ask Questions Later? – What might happen to our ocean food web if people start scooping up more kinds of the little “forage fish” that help feed the rest of the sea?
December 12 – A Big Step for Our Little Fish – In the coming month, members of the New England Fishery Management Council will try to jumpstart a stalled effort to adequately monitor the activity of the midwater trawl vessels that fish for Atlantic herring. The council was jolted into action by a controversial proposal during its last meeting in November when frustrated fishermen proposed a moratorium on midwater trawlers unless all herring vessels operated under the watch of a trained fisheries observer. While this motion failed, the debate it inspired was nothing short of a watershed moment for accountability within forage fisheries in New England.
December 13 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 13 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA announces its final rule to open portions of the groundfish closed areas; Rhode Island and New Hampshire join Martha Coakley’s lawsuit to raise catch limits; Republican members of Congress will release a draft Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization bill next week; Massachusetts lawmakers comment on proposed bluefin tuna regulations; Maine fishermen say the cancellation of the shrimp season will create economic challenges; NMFS makes a rule requiring reduced speed in right whale habitat permanent; ocean acidification may make fish anxious; Maine considers individual quotas or a derby fishery for elvers.