National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

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.

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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.
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Dec. 31 isn't even upon us and foreign fishing nations are already making a New Year's resolution for 2010: try really, really hard to cut their catches of beleaguered Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Of course, we know how well New Year's resolutions go, don't we? They usually have to do with willpower. And the spirit is usually willing, but the flesh is weak.
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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.
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Fishery management "logic" can make you scratch your head so much that you consider buying stock in Head & Shoulders shampoo.

Consider, for example, European Union efforts to have spiny dogfish listed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Alas, dogfish stocks are in poor shape on the other side of the Atlantic.
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Concern for southern bluefin tuna stocks may be eclipsing that for their northern cousins.

Southern bluefin stocks are on the verge of collapsing, according to TRAFFIC, a World Wildlife Fund wildlife trade monitoring program, and several scientists. They "are becoming increasingly concerned at the low level of spawning stock and the low levels of annual recruitment of young fish to that of breeding stock," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-10-16/bluefin-tuna-stocks-close-to-collapse/1107232
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The Klamath River dams may well come a tumblin' down, but it may be another decade before they do.

The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/business/energy-environment/01klamath.html?_r=4&scp=2&sq=klamath&st=cse& reported this week on the release of a draft plan to remove four aging Klamath dams located in California and Oregon. And in releasing the plan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the Klamath "one of the most challenging water issues of our time."

True that, Mr. Secretary.
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Someone stop the Europeans before they fish again.

Once again, European fishing nations have thumbed their noses at experts who assert that without reining in landings, Atlantic bluefin stocks could be fished into extinction in European waters before 2015. This week, a call for a moratorium on international trade of the highly profitable bluefin was scuttled when six of the 27 European Union member states blocked the European Commission proposal.
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It's nice to see an environmental group has Chesapeake Bay watermen's back.

No, that is not a typo.

This week, Environment Maryland Research and Policy released a report that details the impacts of an unhealthy Chesapeake Bay for the area's commercial fishing industry.
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Europe may scrap annual catch limits in favor of — wait for it — days-at-sea management.

That sound you just heard was New England groundfishermen doing a spit take.

U.S. fisheries managers and environmental groups tout annual catch limits as an important tool for promoting sustainable fisheries. Yet according to the Press and Journal in Aberdeen, Scotland, Europe's fisheries chief said Tuesday that maybe it's time for the EU to ditch ACLs.
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Page 27 of 33

Inside the Industry

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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