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December 2014



Dec-14 cover


It’s a reality now: Gulf of Maine cod under emergency restrictions

GLOUCESTER, MA – Everyone knew it was coming, but the official Nov. 10 announcement of emergency closures and trip limits to further protect Gulf of Maine cod still hit people with hurricane force.  The details were just so severe. The day the ...


Raised gillnets could help fishermen avoid cod

The details were news, but the impact had been expected for months now.  On Nov. 10, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Regional Administrator John Bullard announced in-season actions to reduce fishing pressure on Gulf of Maine cod that in...


Wind, waves sink Miss Sambvca: A harrowing account of the rescue

GLOUCESTER, MA – On the evening of October 19, Tyler McLaughlin of the National Geographic Channel’s hit television series “Wicked Tuna” and his mate, Stephen Field, were fishing for bluefin tuna about 10 miles east of Gloucester on McLaughli...


H&H Marine keeps building ’em bigger and bigger

Thirty years or so of saying ‘Why not?’ STEUBEN, M...


EDITORIAL: Whale rule change shows that cooperation works

On Nov. 6, barely four months after announcing the latest adjustment to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule to change the Massachusetts Restricted Area closure start dat...


ICCAT adopts higher quotas for western, eastern bluefin tuna

GENOA, ITALY – The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) concluded its annual meeting here on Nov. 17 and adopted, with overwhelming support, increases in both the western and eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna quotas. ...


Lutcavage team to use ‘hexacopter’ drones to survey bluefin tuna

GLOUCESTER, MA – Back in 1993, Molly Lutcavage, then a scientist at the New England Aquarium, launched one of the region’s first cooperative research programs, working with fishermen and spotter pilots to photograph Atlantic bluefin tuna schools ...


ASMFC moves forward with Jonah crab plan

MYSTIC, CT – If Jonah crabs are one thing and rock crabs are another, then what’s a sand crab or a grass crab or, especially in Maine, a peekytoe crab? Rhode Island fisherman Brian ...


Shrimping moratorium continues for 2015 season

PORTLAND, ME – Despite calls from industry for a 500-metric-ton (mt) research program or, alternatively, a very short shrimp season to at least provide a limited amount of product for consumers, things didn’t turn out that way, to no one’s real...


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FISH-SAFE: What do Coast Guard casualty stats tell us?

The Coast Guard First District maintains a database of incidents to which it has responded.  As of Oct. 7, there were fewer commercial fishing casualties to date in 2014 than in any of the last five years – 176.  That compares to the prior five years for this date when the totals have ranged from …

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EDITORIAL – Science must acknowledge climate change effects

Populations of many fish species – summer flounder, butterfish, squid, black sea bass, cod, and bluefin tuna to name a few – are clearly being impacted by changing ocean water temperatures.  The challenge now is to realign fisheries stock assessment science and fisheries management protocols to acknowledge this new reality. Climate-related changes in migration, abundance, …

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GMRI report: Plan for emerging fisheries in the Gulf of Maine

PORTLAND, ME – If fishery population centers keep trending northward due to warming water temperatures, and if quotas continue to be allocated based on historical landings, the summer flounder dilemma could extend to more stocks – Mid-Atlantic states having large quotas with low stock abundance and New England states having high stock abundance with low …

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New bluefin stock assessments show stunning reversal in abundance

by Rich Ruais As recently as 2009, the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) was warning that the eastern Atlantic stock of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea faced “a high risk of fisheries and stock collapse.” This implied terrible stock condition led …

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