Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 05 November 2010
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council in October tackled a thorny subject — funding observer coverage.
According to the Homer (Alaska) News, the council finalized changes http://homernews.com/stories/110310/seawatch_cet.shtml to the observer program for groundfish boats at the October meeting. Among the changes: NMFS will contract directly with observer companies to provide part-time observers for sectors previously not covered such as the halibut longline fleet and groundfish boats under 60 feet.
And as a way of funding the observer coverage, the council will assess a 1.25 percent fee on ex-vessel value of landings in fisheries that must participate in the program. Paying for observer coverage is a vexing problem in fisheries management. Ideally, if regulators mandate something like observer coverage, they should pay for it.
But the reality is Washington politicians happily call for measures like the observer program to monitor the catch and bycatch but are less enthusiastic about giving NMFS a bigger budget to fund it.
Others say it's just as well. They believe the industry is better off paying for observer coverage itself. Hey, you want something done right, you do it yourself, right?
Unfortunately, observer coverage isn't cheap. And it's another added expense that doesn't make it any easier for fishermen to stay afloat financially.
Maybe there's a middle ground where fishermen and NMFS share the program cost in some fashion. Let's hope so, because the observer program isn't going away, nor is the funding question.
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
The National Marine Educators Association has partnered with NOAA this year to offer all NMEA 2015 conference attendees an educational session on how free NOAA data can add functionality to navigation systems and maritime apps.
Session topics include nautical charts, tides and currents, seafloor data, buoy networking and weather, among others.Read more...
NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.
First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.
Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.Read more...