Written by Adrianne Madden
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
President Obama is visiting Martha's Vineyard on vacation. Tuesday, groundfish harvesters visited the Vineyard, too – but they were all business.
Banner-bearing groundfishing vessels steamed from New Bedford to Martha's Vineyard to express to the president their reservations about sector management.
There are fears that the sector management system, a form of catch share management New England groundfishermen will fish under come May 2010, will displace many fishermen. An already pared-down fleet, harvesters say, will be further whittled to those few operators who can afford to purchase the catch shares of exiting harvesters.
And demonstration organizers say the move to catch shares is being made too quickly. They object to having to decide by Sept. 1 whether to join a sector — a group of fishermen who pool their harvest histories to receive a share of the fishery's total allowable catch — even though rules, regulations and quotas won't be set until late this year.
Will the demonstration lead to the president having an epiphany that will provide for healthy fish stocks and promote sustainable harvests that will allow fishermen and their communities to prosper? Probably not.
But it could at least bring the groundfish fleet's concerns to the president's attention. And it certainly doesn't hurt to demonstrate when a fair amount of national media has descended upon Martha's Vineyard along with the Obamas.
And if that eventually leads to a management system that ensures a robust resource and rejuvenates New England's fabled fishing fleet, then it'll have been well-worth it for the boats to steam to Martha's Vineyard.
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...