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: 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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