National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago in another Sorting Table entry, things are looking up for the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.

NMFS officials announced this week at the council meeting in New Orleans that overfishing has ended prior to the 2010 deadline. Though the season may remain curtailed at 75 days, the 2010 total allowable catch — to be split between commercial and recreational fishermen, at 51 and 49 percent, respectively — is 6.9 million pounds, up from 5 million this year.

Officials predict an eventual TAC closer to 15 million pounds and progressively longer seasons.

Final word on the season length will come in February. The primary argument for it remaining short is that recreational fishermen caught almost 2 million pounds more than their allotment in 2009.

While I don't think it's fair to wag our fingers at recreational fishermen and blame them alone for overfishing their quota (fishery managers ought to be keeping track to prevent this from happening in the first place). I do think it's reasonable for the commercial sector to continue to ask why their industry is treated so differently than the sport industry.

When commercial fishermen are exceeding their quotas, somebody gets on the ball and figures out a way to cut losses, no holds barred. But if the only result from the recreational snapper fleet fishing nearly 180 percent of their quota is that the season remains the same with an uptick in TAC, then there's something stinky on the dock.

Inside the Industry

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...
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