$6 million for Right Whale vessel strike prevention

Posted 5/30/24

NOAA Fisheries is providing $6 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funding will support projects developing technologies to minimize risk from …

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$6 million for Right Whale vessel strike prevention


NOAA Fisheries is providing $6 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funding will support projects developing technologies to minimize risk from vessel strikes—a primary threat to endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large whales.

The partnership will facilitate innovative, technology-based tools, and increase the use and awareness of existing technologies to reduce vessel strikes to the North Atlantic right whale. These could include tools that detect and identify whales and alert vessels when a whale is present and recommend actions.

For information visit

Impact of climate on fish stocks

If “overfishing” of a fish stock continues unchecked with no strategies to rebuild it will become “overfished” with a population size that is too low and jeopardizes the stock’s ability to produce a sustainable yield.

Today, prevailing environmental and fishery conditions are changing exponentially due to climate impacts. From warming waters to acidification, the climate crisis is fundamentally changing the ocean; these changes are jeopardizing the ability of fish to grow and thrive, in turn reducing fisheries’ productivity.

Earlier this month, NOAA Fisheries released a 2023 Stock Status Report which can be the found on their website at Although some of the news in the report is encouraging, much more needs to be done. 

The overfishing status is only known for 72% of stocks and the overfished status for 52%. That means hundreds of fish stocks have an unknown status. We need to improve data collection of unknown stocks so NOAA Fisheries can do their job.

According to the 2023 Stock Status Report nearly a fifth of stocks remain overfished.  The good news is that the number of overfished stocks decreased: 47 fish stocks, or 18% of all known U.S. stocks, are considered overfished. Some of our most iconic stocks, including Atlantic cod, have remained on the overfished list for years.

Despite recent fisheries progress the U.S. still isn’t doing enough to keep up with climate change. For more on this perspective visit

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing

Striped bass and bluefish. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, “The southeast and southwest sides of Block Island were on fire over the holiday with anglers catching striped bass using topwater lures. The fish were slot size (28 to < 31 inches) and above. Our salt ponds are good too we worm hatches still occurring.”

Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author East End Eddie Doherty, said, “The full moon Thursday morning, ushered in some breaking tides have been more pronounced and powerful in the east end. Some nice bass were caught by Joe Gray of Sagamore Beach on his Ditch Witch and Taylor Point’s ‘Breakin Bob’ Weir with a white spook during a mid-Canal surface bite. Worcester Firefighter Joel Benoit fooled some slots and Buzzards Bay’s Ben Sivonen lost count after reeling in over 10 fish with the biggest measuring 45 inches. I was jigging a 5-ounce white Hurley Canal Killer in the east tide next to Vietnam Veteran Steve Colleran when fish started breaking in front of us like a happy dream.” 

Anglers Shaina Boyle and her father Gary Vandemoortele caught five striped bass to 28-inch and bluefish to 30 inches in Greenwich Bay last Wednesday. This weekend I fished in the same area with a friend and hooked up with a keeper and two smaller fish. All these fish were caught in 7 to 12 feet of water trolling tube & worm at the bottom. No fish were found in the East Passage at Poppasquash Point, Bristol nor at Warwick Neck.

Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “The bait is getting pushed into the ponds on an incoming tide with small spooks, and small soft plastics working in the salt pond channels. Back in the pond the worm hatch is still on, and  out front bass and blues are being found on rockpiles and Breachway outflows eating anything from top water to live eels. Won’t be long before some of the 30-40-pound bass start staging on our local reefs.”

Tautog. The spring tautog season ends on May 31 in Rhode Island for the spawning season and will reopen August 1. In Massachusetts, the catch limit drops to one fish/person/day from June 1 to July 31. In both states the open season limit changes on Aug. 1 with a three fish/person/day limit, 16 to 21-inch slot with one fish allowed to be over 21 inches.

“Summer Flounder (fluke), black sea bass and squid. “Fluke reports are starting to pick up with mostly smaller fish being caught locally and a few bigger fish being caught at the island. Black Sea Bass are still out in deeper water but are slowly making their way in. There is an abundance of squid out-front,” said O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle. We weighed in an 11-pound fluke over the holiday caught along the southern coastal beaches. Anglers are having some difficulty finding flukes but when they do they tend to be large.  Anglers are also targeting fluke at the East Grounds and in the Block Island Wind Farm area with good results,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor.

“Squid fishing remains strong along the coastal beaches,” said Cahill of Sung Harbor

Dave Monti holds a master captain’s license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit


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