National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

JHathaway2 I have to give credit where it is due.

The NOAA enforcement scandal has been lighting up the lines in fishing communities throughout the Northeast for months now.

Yet, there was very little movement on the results of the agency's internal investigation until yesterday.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke met with members of the fishing industry and local politicians in meetings in Boston and Portland, Maine.

After NOAA head Jane Lubchenco's failed attempts to distract the industry with platitudes about moving forward (while keeping arguably and allegedly the biggest offender on a six-figure salary), it seems a full-court press from Northeast representatives and the industry has gotten Locke's attention.

To his credit, he seems knowledgeable about the industry, according to coverage by the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass., and was engaged with his audience.

Even better, the secretary is encouraging new cases to come forward and has pledged to establish a confidential platform for fishermen to report unfair enforcement actions or breaches of conduct by NOAA enforcement agents or attorneys. Reports can be sent via e-mail to EnforcementComplaintHotline@noaa.gov.

Most people in the industry understand this is the tip of the iceberg. Let's hope the federal government is prepared to dig deep.

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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