Despite more than 20 years of declining lobster populations in southern New England and extensive studies of the shell disease that is a major factor in their decline, scientists are still struggling to provide definitive answers.
Speculation about the cause of the decline of lobster populations in Narragansett Bay has focused on an increasing number of predatory fish eating young lobsters, warming waters stressing juveniles, and a disease on their shells that is exacerbated by increasing temperatures.
Those looking to buy local seafood at grocery stores and fish markets in New England may have a difficult time finding much, especially if you’re searching for something other than shellfish.
Eating with the Ecosystem’s two-year pilot program, Seafood For All, was developed to bring local seafood to low-income neighborhoods and food pantries in the Ocean State.
CHATHAM, Mass. — The New England Fishery Management Council has scheduled a June 19 hearing at the Chatham Community Center, only a few miles from several herring runs that have seen populations decline.
The Rhode Island Commercial Fisheries Blueprint for Resilience, a plan co-created by 125 members of Rhode Island’s fishing industry, found Ocean State fisheries face an unprecedented convergence of challenges.
Menhaden is the second-largest U.S. fishery, and two states, New Jersey and Virginia, control about 96 percent of the coast-wide quota.
The technologies developed in the competition will be applied to video coming from commercial fishermen in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Commercial fishing gear that is dragged along the seafloor to capture species that live on, in or near the ocean bottom has long been criticized for damaging sensitive habitats and catching innumerable non-target species.
Access to prime Ocean State shellfishing areas has been expanded under the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s annual shellfish harvesting reclassification.
GALILEE, R.I. — Three groundfish vessels from Point Judith are now equipped with digital cameras, rather than human observers, to document discards of groundfish on commercial fishing trips.
WESTERLY and CHARLESTOWN, R.I. — The Nature Conservancy and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management are building nine small-scale, experimental reefs in Quonochontaug Pond.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Department of Health have closed areas of Rhode Island Sound, lower Narragansett Bay south of the Newport Pell and Jamestown Verrazzano bridges, and lower Sakonnet River to shellfish harvesting.
Starting in October, the federal government began a pilot project to test electronic monitoring on midwater herring trawlers fishing in “groundfish closed” areas off the coast of New England, two of which are in the rich spawning grounds on the continental shelf known as Georges Bank. The yearlong project will help regulators decide whether cameras can replace people as observers.