In The NEWS – November

New Director At NERACOOS

The Northeast Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) recently announced the appointment of Dr. Jake Kritzer as the organization’s new Executive Director. Kritzer is taking over from Dr. John Ruaridh “Ru” Morrison, the founding Director and leader of NERACOOS for the past 10 years, who retired from the position in late 2019. Kritzer will also be assuming the role of co-chair for the NECAN Steering Committee alongside Sam Siedlecki of the University of Connecticut.

Indigenous Fishing Stirs Violence In Nova Scotia

Jason Marr, an indigenous lobsterman in Nova Scotia, was unloading his live catch at a storage facility in late October when an angry mob of 200 commercial fishermen began pounding on the door, screaming to be let in. Marr barricaded himself inside a cold storage area. When the authorities arrived at the plant, Marr’s ordeal was not yet over. As several officers surrounded him, the commercial fishermen formed a human chain and began passing crates of lobster from the building to the shoreline, dumping more than 3,000 pounds of his live lobsters. Then, just days after the plant was ransacked, it was burned to the ground. The fire is being investigated as arson, upsetting a small community whose local economy depends on fishing.

New Menhaden Quota Set For 2021-2022 Seasons

The ASMFC’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board (Board) approved a total allowable catch (TAC) of 194,400 metric tons (mt) for the 2021 and 2022 fishing seasons, which represents a 10% reduction from the 2018-2020 TAC level. The 2021-2022 TAC was set based on the ecological reference points (ERPs) approved by the Board in August, and reaffirms the Board’s commitment to manage the fishery in a way that accounts for the species role as a forage fish. “This TAC represents a measured and deliberate way for this Board to move into the realm of ecosystem-based management,” said Board Chair Spud Woodward of Georgia. “The TAC strikes a balance between stakeholder interests to maintain harvest on menhaden at recent levels, while also allowing the ERP models to do what they are intended to do.”

Maine Fair Trade To Become Aquaculture Facility

A Maine aquaculture company plans to buy the Gouldsboro property that was home to the nation’s last sardine cannery and use it as part of a salmon- and cod-farming operation. American Aquafarms said Friday it has reached an agreement to buy the Maine Fair Trade Lobster processing plant in the Gouldsboro village of Prospect Harbor. The property was a sardine cannery for a century until that business shut down in 2010. The company plans to build a hatchery and processing facility on the 11-acre site. It would use the facility as part of an operation to grow finfish species such as salmon and cod at ocean sites in Frenchman Bay. Global AS, an investment company based in Norway, founded American Aquafarms in 2019 after the founding of Norcod, a Norwegian cod farm with two facilities in operation.

New England Fisheries Management Council Passes 100% Monitoring Provision

The New England Fishery Management Council approved a plan to require human or electronic monitors on all New England fishing boats targeting groundfish such as cod and haddock. The controversial measure seeks funding from Congress to help pay for the monitors. Some in the fishing sector believe that 100% monitoring will improve depleted fisheries by providing better data on the stocks’ actual status, while providing fishermen an incentive to more precisely target species that are within set quotas. The Nature Conservancy is providing $2 million to help pay for electronic or video monitoring equipment. If Congress does not provide full funding for 100% monitoring, the industry would still be required to pay to monitor up to 40% of at-sea trips.

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