Tag Archives: Division of Marine Fisheries Director David Pierce

Vineyard Fishermen Warn of Ruin If Conch Rule Enacted

Martha’s Vineyard commercial fishermen spent more than two and a half hours Wednesday letting the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries know what they think of 18 proposed rule updates and new regulations. Some of the changes are minor tweaks to clarify existing rules, but others, if enacted, would affect the Vineyard’s fishing industry more significantly. Island speakers vehemently opposed a draft proposal to increase the minimum size of knobbed and channeled whelk, generally called conch, by three sixteenths of an inch in 2017. “That is a horrifying number,” said Tom Turner, a longtime Edgartown fisherman. “You’re guaranteeing the death of a fishery, and that would happen within two years of a three-sixteenth increase.” Continue reading the story here 15:16

At one time, they were close collaborators. Great White Shark researchers spar over studies off Cape Cod

ar-160919425In 2012, OCEARCH operated under state Division of Marine Fisheries shark scientist Gregory Skomal’s federal permit to catch and tag great white sharks off Chatham. The next year, with Skomal again on board, the state allowed the big Alaskan crab boat the organization uses into state waters, less than 3 miles offshore. This June, citing concerns that any additional research on great white sharks within state waters could jeopardize a five-year population study led by Skomal, Division of Marine Fisheries Director David Pierce denied OCEARCH’s application for a research permit to catch great whites off Monomoy. “I’m concerned your proposed work would compromise our research by jeopardizing our study’s validity,” Pierce wrote to OCEARCH president Christopher Fischer in his June 30 letter denying the permit for state waters. In January, OCEARCH received a federal research permit from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s highly migratory species program to capture and tag a total of 75 sharks of varying species, including eight great whites, anywhere from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up the Atlantic coast. Read the story here 14:16