Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 25 February 2011
The Feb. 25 fishermen's rally that took place in St. Petersburg, Fla., took place a day after the anniversary of the national fishermen's rally held last year in Washington, D.C. Do you wonder how effective last year's rally was?
Last year's rally was significant. Some 3,000 commercial and recreational fishermen joined forces to register their dissatisfaction. And it garnered the bi-partisan support of 20 U.S. House and Senate members, state lawmakers and mayors.
That political support for commercial fishermen continues today. New England's Congressional delegation is keeping NOAA's feet to the fire regarding the hardships the sector system and catch share management have brought to the Northeast groundfish fishery.
Consequently, Congress is beginning to question NOAA's zeal to bring catch share management to other U.S. fisheries. This week, the House voted to nix funding NOAA sought for establishing other catch share programs. The Senate hasn't yet voted on the matter.
And Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) announced plans this week to convene a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing. The intent is to collect testimony that can be used to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation's federal fisheries law.
Making Magnuson a more flexible law was the Washington, D.C., rally's main intent. It's too soon to say whether the Senate hearing will bring meaningful changes. House and Senate bills proposed last year to revise the act have expired. But it's fair to say last year's rally has proved to be a catalyst in the battle to bring change to U.S. fisheries management.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States.
The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.Read more...
Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.