National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

No matter what coast you're on, there is something big happening in fishing this weekend.

Tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 25) thousands of commercial and recreational fishermen will be gathering in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Fishing Matters to Me rally to protest the Gulf of Mexico grouper closures. The crowd will convene outside of NMFS Southeast headquarters at 263 13th Avenue South.

Also beginning tomorrow, Astoria, Ore.'s Clatsop Community College will again play host to the three-day Fisher Poets Gathering. While the stories of the sea are the biggest draw, the festival includes vessel tours, knot-tying demos, workshops and a silent auction.

In the Northeast, if they're not out for the last sets of the Maine shrimp season, fishermen may well spend the weekend trying to figure out who is distributing an anonymous petition in support of catch shares.

I'm all for letting the people speak. And maybe it's just the Southerner in me, but I firmly believe that if you want to drum up support for your cause, you ought to do it without a bag over your head. It also strikes me as odd that a petition like this would go out the same week that a Gloucester (Mass.) fisherman is charged with assault for hugging and putting his tongue an observer's ear.

NOAA and NMFS have a lot of recovering to do to show that they are leading this industry. I sincerely hope the agency is not just finding new and creative ways to clamp down on fishermen.

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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