Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 05 February 2010
The Feb. 24 fishermen's march on Washington, D.C., may not have the impact or garner the attention that the 1963 civil rights march on Washington did. But it's important nonetheless.
Thousands of commercial and recreational fishermen will head to Washington to gather on the steps of the Capitol at noon to protest federal fisheries management actions that they say are crippling the nation's coastal fishing communities. The New Jersey-based Recreational Fishing Alliance is organizing the rally through United We Fish.
Is it a stretch to say that commercial fishermen in this country feel marginalized? That they think NMFS doesn't value their input regarding fisheries management issues? That they believe their industry, which is older than the country itself, is being choked by regulation? Or that they believe the Magnuson-Stevens Act has evolved into a weapon that is used against them?
In an East Hampton (N.Y.) Star Feb. 4 article about the fishermen's march, Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, may have best summed up their feelings. She said she was disturbed about NMFS' recent decision not to renew its contract with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to collect biological samples and landing statistics.
"It seems to crystallize a disconnect that is endemic to NMFS itself, a lack of respect for the fishing communities, and no input or voice by fishermen into a regulatory process that we are governed by daily," Brady said.
The Feb. 24 march would seem an excellent opportunity for fishermen past and present from all over the country to go to Washington and make their discontent known to NMFS, our elected leaders, and the American public, and campaign for meaningful change.
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...