Written by Linc Bedrosian
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
When I began working at National Fisherman in late 1994, even back then efforts to revive struggling Northeast groundfish stocks were in full swing. But the groundfish stock rebuilding work predates my arrival in our former Rockland, Maine, offices.
The earliest article on the Northeast groundfish situation that appears in the old article index that still lives on my computer dates back to the Oct. '90 NF. It's an Around the Coasts article entitled, "New plan for Northeast groundfish urged."
In it, we learn that Massachusetts Rep. Gerry Studds, the chairman of the House subcommittee on fisheries, and then NMFS chief William Fox addressed the New England Fishery Management Council at an August meeting, urging the council to move forward with a program "to rebuild the region's severely depleted groundfish resources."
NMFS and the council are still wrestling with how to rebuild the region's groundfish stocks. Through the years there have been measures such as area closures, vessel buybacks, days-at-sea management, sector management to name a few, and yet the population numbers for important fish like cod and yellowtail flounder still haven't been boosted to Magnuson-Stevens Act-mandated thresholds.
Thursday, the New England council will grapple once more with the issue. And the alternatives being presented to the council include cutting the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder harvest by 74 percent and Gulf of Maine haddock by 46 percent. Groundfishermen fear that such cuts to the fishery, which was declared a federal disaster this year, could prove devastating to the fleet and the region's fishing communities.
Industry advocates are urging fishermen to attend the council meeting on Thursday, Dec. 20 at the Sheraton Colonial Hotel, One Audubon Road, Wakefield, Mass, starting at 9 a.m. For more details about the meeting, visit the New England Fishery Management Council website.
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...