Fishermen are facing tougher quotas and declining populations for some of the most popular fish species, most notably Cod, a New England favorite. That’s one reason why environmentalists and fishermen have been working to promote more locally-caught seafood. Some, like lobster, quahogs, and other shellfish are catching on. But there are other fish that teem the waters of Narragansett Bay. There's one effort underway to raise awareness about scup, an abundant local catch.
NOAA Fisheries issued emergency measures last week to protect Gulf of Maine cod. On the heels of this emergency action, the New England Fishery Management Council has recommended new restrictions to address the depleted cod population, as it finalizes next year’s fishing management measures for several fish.
For the past 55 years, researchers and students from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography have trawled Narragansett Bay on a weekly basis. These trawls are one of the world's longest running surveys that track the type of fish that come and go from season to season. For our One Square Mile: Narragansett Bay series, we turn to these trawls to give us a snapshot of how fish have responded to changes.
Three URI students board the 53-foot research vessel Cap'n Bert at Wickford Harbor, as they do each week, to trawl the bay at two stations.
Nearly $33 million in disaster relief money will soon flow to help New England fishermen hurting from declining fish stocks and tighter fishing limits. The federal government declared a fisheries disaster last year in Rhode Island. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined other congressional leaders to include $74 million in fisheries disaster in the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill.