In Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Catch share management is coming to the West Coast groundfish fishery starting Jan. 1, 2011. The question is, will the West Coast fleet find life under catch share management more palatable than do their New England counterparts?
Catch share management has rankled Northeast groundfishermen. They say catch share allocations, which are based on catch histories, penalize those who acquired days at sea permits that had little fishing history. The combination of small allocations and low catch limits for "choke" species are keeping groundfish boats tied to the docks, they say, and driving fishermen out of business.
The New England fleet received a glimmer of hope this week. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to New Bedford, Mass., and announced that, as New England's legislative delegation has asserted, he has the authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to make emergency adjustments to regulations.
Moreover, Locke is prepared to do so if economic and scientific data justifies and supports such action. That could lead to reassessments of 2010 catch limits.
Meanwhile on the West Coast, NOAA is trumpeting the coming implementation of groundfish catch shares.
"The point of catch-shares is to get government out of the business of telling fishermen when they can fish," NOAA spokesman Brian Gorman told the Monterey County (Calif.) Herald. http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_16336202?nclick_check=1 "It minimizes the amount of regulations fishermen have to endure and puts more control into their hands." However, it didn't take Jeremiah O'Brien, president of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen's Organization, long to find a down side to catch share management.
He told the Herald that the program will "basically turn fishing over to corporate entities." O'Brien also wondered why the government is championing a policy that will eliminate jobs.
If his New Bedford announcement is any indication, Locke may be wondering that, too.
National Fisherman Live for March 11, 2014
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today the appointment of John M.R. Bull as Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. John Bull has been with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission since June 2007 and has been serving as Acting Commissioner since January 2014.
PORTSMOUTH, NH - The New Hampshire Fish and Lobster Festival, known locally as Fishtival, invites the community to Portsmouth's Prescott Park each September to honor, celebrate and rediscover the proud tradition of small-scale, local commercial groundfishing in New Hampshire and its valuable contribution to our local food system, local economy and local culture. Now, the mission continues with the announcement of small grants available from the proceeds of the 2013 event.