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.

Who wouldn't feel a 25 percent hit in their income?

Maybe professional athletes, movie stars or rock stars wouldn't. They wouldn't be happy about it, but they could withstand it. I mean, if Jim Carrey goes from making $10 million per film to $7.5 million, I don't think he's going to be worried about making mortgage or car payments and putting food on the table.

But new rules for the 2010 season approved at November's New England Fishery Management Council meeting (though NMFS must still give final approval) could slash scallopers' revenue by 25 percent. Despite a healthy, well-managed and monitored scallop resource, the total allowable harvest will be lower because regulators are required to factor in "scientific uncertainty" about population numbers when setting the harvest limit.

Furthermore, days at sea will be cut from 38 to 29. And the number of trips to restricted access areas will decline from five to four.

Given all this, scallopers say they could be facing a 25 percent cut in their revenue next year. Roy Enoksen, president of New Bedford, Mass.-based Eastern Fisheries, which operates 23 scallop boats, told the New Bedford Standard-Times this week http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091201/NEWS/912010355/1018/OPINION the changes translate into a loss of $250,000 to $300,000 per vessel.

The scallop industry will survive the cuts. But in a down economy, they sure don't help.

Hence, it's all the more perplexing that Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements force regulators to largely ignore socioeconomic factors that could give fishery managers greater leeway and mitigate the hit fishermen would take in these tough economic times.

Perhaps persistent industry prodding could convince our esteemed congressmen and senators to amend Magnuson-Stevens to give regulators that flexibility. I'm inclined to believe they'd be sympathetic to the cause. After all, how do you think they'd react to any attempts to cut politicians' income by 25 percent?

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

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