National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

An important point is being obscured in the furor over NOAA fisheries enforcement practices in the Northeast.

This week Congressmen learned more about allegations that in November, enforcement documents were improperly shredded while the Commerce Department inspector general's office was conducting its investigation of enforcement practices. Reportedly as much as 75 percent of the material in then enforcement chief Dale Jones's files were destroyed.

People are rightly outraged over the enforcement mess — a Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times editorial http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x154921592/Call-NOAA-actions-what-they-truly-are-obstruction-of-justice even calls for obstruction of justice charges to be brought against Jones should it be found that the shredding allegations are true.

But it seems like the fishermen whose fines apparently were excessive in relation to the violations that were committed are getting lost in the shuffle.

What recourse is there for fishermen who were fined so heavily that they were driven out of the industry? Can they be reimbursed for any amounts they paid that were over the average nationwide for similar offenses?

It's an idea that bears consideration. Doing so could be an important step in restoring balance to the relationship between fishermen and the fisheries enforcement branch.

Inside the Industry

Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, recently received the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.

The award was given to Hilborn by the World Council of Fisheries Societies’ International Fisheries Science Prize Committee in recognition of his 40-year career of “highly diversified research and publication in support of global fisheries science and conservation.”

Read more...

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

Read more...
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