IN BRIEF - Transfer approved for Tremont mussel farm
Friday, November 10, 2017
TREMONT - The Department of Marine Resources approved the transfer of an aquaculture lease last week for a Blue Hill Bay mussel farm that has been the focus of prolonged and bitter opposition, but the battle over the 15-acre site located east of Hardwood Island is far from over.
Last June, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher approved renewal of an aquaculture lease for Maine Cultured Mussels Inc., allowing it to continue to grow blue mussels in a group of circular fish pens on a 15-acre site. The renewal extended the lease for a period of seven years, until March of 2020. The lease extension was signed last month.
More than five years ago, in 2012, the company asked that its lease be extended until March 2023, the maximum allowable 10-year term after its expiration in March 2013.
BOSTON - South Coast officials and seafood industry interests were stunned by Monday’s federal decision to shut down a sector with ties to disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a decision they say will cut into the livelihoods of fishermen during the holiday season and beyond.
“The ruling itself was unexpected,” said Andrew Saunders, a New Bedford attorney retained two months ago by Northeast Fishery Sector 9, one of 19 nonprofit entities set up to manage fishing industry operations in the face of strict catch limits imposed by the federal government.
The decision stems from the fraud perpetrated by fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, but New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says there’s collateral damage involved for people in the New Bedford area whose jobs are tethered to the harvesting of groundfish such as cod, flounder and haddock.
“The tying up of these vessels will deprive crew members opportunities to earn a living and it will eat into the revenue of shoreside businesses that support the industry,” Mitchell told the News Service, citing impacts on fuel and ice suppliers, net menders and settlement houses.
The Edgartown shellfish committee has delayed a formal decision on a plan to open up Cape Pogue Pond for oyster farms, following a public hearing this week that saw tension over protecting one of the most pristine ponds on the Vineyard and competing interests among commercial shellfishermen and a new breed of oyster farmers.
In September, Edgartown resident Noah Scheffer applied for a one-acre oyster lease in the south end of Cape Pogue Pond, a vast saltwater embayment that lies off the extreme northeastern end of Edgartown. After discussion with selectmen, the shellfish committee decided to create a broader plan for eight one-acre lots to bring to a public hearing process. The new lease area would have to be approved by the shellfish committee, selectmen and the state.
About 30 people gathered at the Edgartown library this week for a hearing about the proposal.
Ahead of the December Fisheries Council, where EU Member States will agree fishing quotas for 2018, the Commission has tabled its proposal on catch limits and quotas for the Black Sea, following adoption of the first-ever multiannual management plan for the region.
The Commission today has tabled its proposal on catch limits and quotas for the Black Sea ahead of the December Fisheries Council, where EU Member States will agree fishing quotas for 2018.
The proposal, which concerns Bulgaria and Romania, takes into account the best available scientific advice and is the outcome of this year's General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) Annual Session, which approved the first-ever multiannual management plan for the Black Sea.
For sprat, the Commission proposes to maintain a catch limit of 11,475 tonnes; 70% is allocated to Bulgaria and 30% to Romania.
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas, has concluded its Annual Meeting in Marrakesh on 14 – 21 November.
The meeting was dominated by discussions surrounding Bluefin tuna, in particular for the Eastern and Mediterranean stock. Based on scientific advice, ICCAT agreed to a gradual increase in the total allowed catches (TAC) reaching a maximum of 36,000 ton in 2020 (28,200t in 2018 and 32,240t in 2019). This increase reflects a widely recognised improvement in the overall situation for Atlantic tuna stocks, compared to a decade ago. Whilst the proposal for the increase was not tabled by the EU, the general improvement of the stock reflects the outcome of action led by the European Union and the sustained efforts by fishermen and the fishing industry, in the last decade.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: "Our experience of recent years is that concerted efforts by all parties can secure rapid progress towards more sustainable fisheries. We now need to continue our work towards a long-term management regime for Eastern Bluefin tuna as proposed by the European Commission."
Malta’s tuna fishing quota has been increased by 48 tonnes - from 271 to 319 tonnes, Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri said.
He said the increase was achieved following the adoption of several recommendations aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the breed during the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which ended yesterday in Morocco.
The recommendation which directly affected Malta was that the quota for blue fin tuna catches could be increased as scientific studies were showing that the population was recovering.
Frozen foods are one of the trending categories under convenience foods. The consumption of which has gained momentum during the last few years due to hectic lifestyles and work schedules. Frozen foods are foods kept in cold storage to avoid decaying, which increases the shelf life of foods. It offers the convenience of having different seasonal types of foods, fish, fruits, and vegetables year-round.
The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has been warning against consumption of mussels from Hvalfjörður fjord, West Iceland, for the past two years due to excessive levels of DSP algae, Skessuhorn reports. The algea causes Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning, a non-lethal form of food poisoning.
The authority analysed mussels from the area, harvested by Fossá river, at the beginning of this month. No toxic algae was detected in the nearby seawater, and algae levels detected in the mussels were within a safe range. MAST has therefore deemed it safe to gather and consume mussels from the area.
Kaohsiung - A European Union (EU) delegation visited Chienchen Fishing Port in Kaohsiung (????) Friday on an inspection tour of the facilities and the management of the Fisheries Agency (FA).
The delegation was accompanied by Huang Chao-chin (???), head of the Kaohsiung Fishermen’s Association, Huang Teng-fu (???), deputy chief of Kaohsiung’s Marine Bureau, and various FA officials.
The visit is part of a 10-day inspection tour of Taiwan that began Oct. 16 to evaluate the effectiveness of the country’s measures to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
Taiwan was given a “yellow card” by the European Commission in October 2015 and was warned that the country risked being identified as uncooperative in the fight against IUU.
Chienchen Fishing Port is one of Taiwan’s most important deep-sea fishing bases, with catches of tuna and squid coming in from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, the South Atlantic and the North Pacific.