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.

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

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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