National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

lincIn Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.

Not all U.S. industries are created equal. At least that's the conclusion you reach when you look at how the fishing industry and the oil industry are regulated.

One the one hand, we have the fishing industry. NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco is driving the push towards catch share management, and appears determined to implement the sector management system regardless of the economic toll it will take on the region's fishermen and their communities.

Industry advocates and legislators fear that the catch share management program will devastate the Northeast groundfish fishery and coastal communities unless alterations are made. Yet entreaties to Lubchenco and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to raise catch limits enough to let fishermen survive until annual quotas can be more accurately set in future years are falling on deaf ears.

On the other hand we have the oil industry. The federal Minerals Management Service didn't require British Petroleum to have a $500,000 acoustic backup device for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; it deemed the device too expensive. That probably looks like chump change to BP now.

On Friday, President Obama lit into the agency, "For too long, for a decade or more, there's been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency [MMS] that permits them to drill," Obama said during a White House press conference in the Rose Garden. "It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies."

Thus we have two industries, both extracting natural resources that are treated very differently by the agencies that manage them. Alaska's Prince William Sound and now the Gulf of Mexico will likely never be the same following oil spills. So tell me again which industry is the better steward of our nation's ocean resources?

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14

  • OSU study targets commercial fishing injuries
  • Delaware's native mud crab making recovery
  • Alaska salmon catch projected to drop 47 percent
  • West Coast groundfish fishery bill passes
  • Maine's scallop season strongest in years

Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.

Read more...

The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.

Read more...

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