Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 11 December 2009
NOAA is trumpeting catch shares as the cure for what ails U.S. fish stocks, but an attempt to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Act could provide greater benefits to the fishing industry and fish stocks.
To that end, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), has tentatively scheduled a caucus of East Coast legislators next Thursday to discuss altering Magnuson. Specifically, Frank wants to bring greater flexibility to stock rebuilding timelines.
The caucus complements House and Senate bills filed by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) respectively. Frank is among the two dozen congressmen and senators who co-sponsor the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act.
Frank told the Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times http://www.gloucestertimes.com/fishing/x546182589/Congressman-sets-date-for-Magnuson-caucus that fisheries managers wrestling with meeting stringent Magnuson requirements are unnecessarily harming historic Atlantic coast fishing communities.
Frank is right. NOAA may be sold on catch shares as a fisheries management tool, but New England groundfishermen are skeptical to say the least. And the economic impact of catch shares upon the region's fishing communities is barely being taken into account.
Modifying Magnuson, however, would take those impacts into greater consideration while still retaining commitment to promoting sustainable fishing and rebuilding depressed fish stocks in a reasonable time frame. It's not a slam dunk that Congress will amend Magnuson, but you've got to applaud the effort.
Better still, you can lend your support by reaching out to your local congressmen and senators and urging them to sign on to the bills. And to cast your votes in support of the House version, click here http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1584/show and for the Senate version, here http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1255/show.
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...