News Updates for The Week of June 29, 2020
Suspension of Tautog Tagging, Invasive Tiger Shrimp, and New Coastal Shark Fishing Regulations

June 29 : Striped Bass Work Group Webinar

July 1: Tautog Technical Committee and Stock Assessment Subcommittee Webinar

July 7-9: NOAA Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee Peer Review Meeting Webinar

August 3-6: ASMFC Summer meeting Webinar
Public Comment

June 30 : MD DNR is seeking feedback: scoping of possible regulations for the striped bass ITQ fishery. (Find more here ).
NY DEC: Commercial Tautog Tagging Program Suspended

Due to the public health emergency, the Commercial Tautog Tagging Program is suspended for the entirety of the current tagging season, April 16, 2020 through January 25, 2021.

The program will resume April 16, 2021, at which time all commercially harvested tautog in New York will require a single-use tag that will be available through DEC. If you have questions about the tagging program, contact or call (631) 444-0469.
NY DEC: Alewife Moving Upstream in the Hutchinson River

Alewife, also known as river herring, are a native species to New York’s marine waters and tidal rivers. Similar to striped bass or salmon, alewife live mainly in the ocean and travel into freshwater rivers to spawn. Since the 1800s, industrial dams have obstructed alewife from reaching historic spawning grounds, impacting their ability to reproduce and maintain healthy, sustainable populations.

The goals of Long Island Sound Study’s fishway projects are to remove dams or build fish ladders over or around barriers. These projects have helped open up hundreds of river miles for migratory fish to swim from Long Island Sound into streams in Connecticut, Long Island, and the Bronx. This project is supported by funding from the Ocean and Great Lakes Environmental Protection Fund. Read more in the  Long Island Sound Study’s Sound Spotlight. 
FL FWCC: New Biscayne National Park fishing regulations effective July 1 

Several regulatory changes aimed at achieving fishery management goals in Biscayne National Park go into effect starting July 1. FWCC will return in five years to provide an update on monitoring and progress toward management goals and to evaluate the effectiveness of these changes.

Changes effective July 1, 2020, include:

  • Increasing the minimum size limit for several targeted species
  • Establishing a 10-fish per person aggregate harvest and possession limit for recreational harvest of select commonly targeted fish.
  • Establishing Coral Reef Protection Areas where traps and lobstering will be prohibited year-round.
  • Establishing a trap-free zone near Biscayne National Park headquarters.
  • Establishing inshore and offshore no-trawl zones within the park. 
Find more information here.
GA CRD: Report Invasive Tiger Shrimp

Asian tiger shrimp ( Penaeus monodon ) are native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, but are now found along the southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States. While small numbers of this non-native species have been reported in U.S. waters for over a decade, sightings have increased over the past few years. Tiger shrimp are one of the primary species raised in shrimp farms around the world and can grow to be three times the size of our native shrimp.

The impact of non-native species on native fauna is often unknown. Competition for food and habitat resources, predation, and transmission of disease may potentially impact local shrimp as well as other species.

Find more information here.
MA DMF: Baker-Polito Administration Awards Marketing Grants to Support Massachusetts’ Seafood Industry

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $50,616 in grant funding to three projects to help the Commonwealth’s local seafood industry sell fresh, locally-caught products to Massachusetts consumers through promotion and awareness campaigns. The grants, awarded through the DMF's Seafood Marketing Grant Program, will enhance the viability and stabilize the economic environment of Massachusetts’ local commercial fishing and seafood industries while driving economic activity in coastal communities.

The awarded projects will support the commercial seafood and fishing industries, as well as coastal communities, by increasing awareness and demand for local seafood products from Massachusetts through education, promotion, research, and marketing. Priority was given to proposals that would benefit the Commonwealth’s seafood industry as a whole. Project outcomes, materials created, and reporting from the projects will provide information and insight to those in the region doing work with similar goals.

Find more information here.
NH FGD: Public and Fishing Industry Encouraged to Watch for Drifter Monitoring Equipment

NH FGD's Marine Division, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, Maine, the University of New Hampshire, and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (the Collaborative) are working cooperatively to determine how warming ocean waters influence the migratory movements of female lobsters carrying eggs. Of special interest is the impact this might have on the ability of larval-stage lobsters to recruit (return) to inshore nursery grounds. The project’s working hypothesis is that females will seek colder water by moving further offshore, which may influence where the larvae are transported by the ocean’s currents.

Find more information here.
NOAA Fisheries: Returning Rescued Sea Turtles to the Wild By Land, Air, and Sea

Rescuing, rehabilitating, and returning sea turtles to the wild requires the coordination of lots of different people and organizations. Read our web story to learn how 13 sea turtles recently made their return to the ocean by traveling over land, air, and sea.

Find more information here.

NOAA Fisheries: Partnerships Improve the 2020 Atlantic Surfclam Stock Assessment

Atlantic surfclams live at depths between 20 and 35 meters, with an optimal temperature range of 16 to 22o C. They are managed as one stock, with two biologically distinct areas. Surfclams in the northern area on Georges Bank are faster growing than southern surfclams, and the populations don’t mix.

Thirty years ago, southern surfclams grew faster than they do now, and lived in shallower waters. They were also bigger than the surfclams on Georges Bank. Now, these dynamics are reversed. Surfclams in the southern areas have moved to deeper waters, and grow more slowly, to a smaller maximum size. These population changes have been observed by fishermen, noted in their logbooks, and appear in research survey data.

Find more information here.
ASMFC: Retention Limit of Aggregated Large Coastal Shark and Hammerhead Shark Management Groups increase to 55 Sharks per Trip

NOAA Fisheries has increased the retention limit for the commercial aggregated large coastal shark
(LCS) and hammerhead shark management groups (see Appendix 1 next page) for directed shark
limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 36 to 55 sharks per vessel per trip
effective June 19, 2020. The retention limit will remain at 55 LCS other than sandbar sharks per
vessel per trip in the Atlantic region through the rest of the 2020 fishing season or until NOAA
Fisheries announces another adjustment to the retention limit or a fishery closure via the Federal
Register. Shark landings can be found here.

Find more information here.
What We're Reading
The names and faces behind amazing scientific illustrations can sometimes be overlooked, take a glimpse at some of these renowned artists and learn about their story on The Fisheries Blog.

Frustrated and exhausted by systemic racism in the science community, Black researchers outline immediate steps for action that need to be taken (Nature).
From sea horses to clown fish, there are many underwater fish dads that we would like to wish a special happy fathers day to! (The New York Times).

Alternative fish products are becoming increasingly popular and widespread, can they help save marine life and feed a hungry world (Hakai Magazine)?

Online bookies are now establishing gambling on the migration patterns of great white sharks. Some experts say this could raise much needed awareness, but others argue that it fuels the animals’ reputation as mere entertainment, detracting from important conservation efforts (The New York Times).
Partner Agencies
Subscribe or share with friends our collection of upcoming meetings, recent news alerts, and articles from Atlantic coast states, regional fishery management councils, and federal agencies.