National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Hundreds of New England fishermen have gathered in Gloucester, Mass., today at a rally to call for better federal fisheries law, regulations, and management. If they don't improve, rally organizers say, fishermen can't survive.

A press release issued by the Washington, D.C.-based Project to Save Seafood and Ocean Resources states that at this time of national economic distress, it is imperative that NOAA joins the White House in focusing on economic recovery.

"It is time," the release states, "that NOAA obeys the national fisheries law that instructs it to 'minimize adverse economic impacts on [fishing] communities.'"
Rally organizers and participants alike also realize the real problem is the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Specifically, it's the portion of Magnuson that mandates fish stocks be rebuilt within a 10-year time frame.

It's a problem because New England Fishery Management Council members are saddled with the impossible task of hurrying to meet the Magnuson requirements and develop the necessary management measures in all too short a period of time. And why must they scramble so? Because they're up against the constraints of the 10-year rebuilding period, that's why.

Why the 10-year period was chosen in the first place has never been made clear. Couldn't the populations of those groundfish stocks that are lagging be just as safely rebuilt in 15 or 20 years?

Meanwhile, that rebuilding deadline is crippling the groundfish industry. The economic impact of fishery management regulations and restrictions on fishermen is barely recognized.

It's great to see that fishermen taking a stand to call for better fisheries management and to protect their livelihood. While they're at it, they should also think about heading to Washington, D.C., and rallying on Capitol Hill to insist that Congress amend Magnuson-Stevens and the rebuilding period length so that fish stocks can rebound in a more reasonable time frame.

Because if the time period can be adjusted, it's just possible that a rebuilding plan could be developed that can boost fish stocks without decimating New England's groundfish industry — or any other U.S fishery.

Inside the Industry

(Bloomberg) — Millions of dead fish stretched out over 200 kilometers of central Vietnamese beaches are posing the biggest test so far for the new government.

The Communist administration led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has been criticized on social media for a lack of transparency and slow response, with thousands protesting Sunday in major cities and provincial areas.

Read more...

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

Read more...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email