Fisheries

Once Robust, Bluefin Tuna Fishery Is In Economic Freefall

The quiet demise of the tuna industry was in evidence last week when the 278-metric ton seasonal quota was reached early. Market prices were reported to have plummeted to a record-breaking low.

Commercial Striped Bass Season Opens

Commercial striped bass season opened on Sunday with mixed reviews from fishermen. Fishmongers, however, are happy to have the desirable fish in stock again for the Island’s many interested customers.

Striped bass is a highly regulated fishery, especially on the commercial side. Last year the season come to a quick end on August 9 when fishermen reached their allowable catch about a month after the season opened.

bluefin tuna

Environmental Group Files - Lawsuit Over Bluefin Tuna Fishing Policy

Frustrated by policies that increase overfishing, a San Francisco-based environmental group filed suit in federal court last week against the National Marine Fisheries Service, charging that its most recent rule changes are allowing additional harvesting of bluefin tuna by expanding the fishing season.

illustration painting man fish

Fishermen Exceed Striped Bass Quota

Massachusetts commercial striped bass fishermen exceeded their quota this summer by over 100,000 pounds. Fishermen landed 1,163,666 pounds or 109.6 per cent above their quota of 1,061,898 pounds.

Striped Bass Commercial Season Closes a Bit Early

The commercial season for striped bass ended this past Wednesday. The closure came when fisheries managers estimated that the 1,061,898-pound quota had been taken in Massachusetts. The season ran short this year.

Last year the 1.12 million-pound quota was taken at the conclusion of the third week of August. The fishery was closed on August 22.

Recreational fishing for striped bass continues. Anglers are required to possess a state saltwater recreational fishing license. They are allowed a bag limit of two fish per day; the minimum size is 28 inches.

Catherine

Lady of the Sea Trying to Save Bluefin Tuna

Catherine Kilduff has a childhood memory of summering in Vineyard Haven and having a day at the beach when she found a number of spider crabs. She recalled hand-feeding one of the crabs with the meat she plucked from a limpet. It was June, an early visit to the Island. “I must have been 11 or 12 years old,” she said.

Striped Bass Quotas Unchanged

The commercial fishing quota for striped bass for the region will remain the same next year and beyond. At a meeting in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission striped bass management board voted to keep the quota the same. The commission had been poised to raise the quota.

Whither Striped Bass?

The commercial striped bass season ended last Monday and Alec Gale of West Tisbury said it was the worst season he has seen in the six years he has been hauling fish to the mainland for the local anglers. “It was a slow season, and it wasn’t because of overfishing,” Mr. Gale said. “I think it was a lack of bait and the warm water temperature.”

Vineyard Anglers to Fight State Plan To Ban Commercial Striped Bass Fishing

Hearings begin next week on legislation that would make striped bass an exclusively recreational fish in state waters.

The Massachusetts Striped Bass Conservation Bill, 796, filed a year ago by Falmouth state representative Matthew Patrick, has been debated among recreational and commercial fishermen for months.

Fish Stocks Can Rebound, Report Says

Fish can come back.

A research paper published in last Friday’s journal Science concludes that while fish stocks remain threatened by overfishing, collaboration among scientists and fisheries managers can reverse the trend.

Boris Worm, a marine ecologist with Dalhousie University in Halifax and other scientists published a report in 2006 citing evidence that if current trends continued, all commercially harvestable fish would be gone by 2048.

The Friday report in Science takes an entirely different view.

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