Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 08 April 2011
With the federal government on the verge of a shutdown, budget cuts are looming over every national agency.
Unfortunately, a positive review of the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety landed its Commercial Fishing Safety Research Program on the chopping block for 2012.
As Gunnar Knapp, economics professor at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, pointed out in his op-ed for the Anchorage Daily News this week, cutting this program at a time when its effectiveness is most apparent is dangerously counterintuitive.
Fishing is still the deadliest profession in this country, but safety research has improved the survival rates of American fishermen over the last 20 years.
The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 put into effect stricter standards for skippers of large vessels and tightened requirements for dockside exams.
I don't discount the value of dockside exams. But I can't comprehend how we can find funding for more exams and coursework for skippers but not for a national safety-at-sea research program.
We need to do everything we can to keep fishermen alive at sea and continue to improve our national safety record in the industry.
If you want to help preserve NIOSH and fishermen's lives, make a phone call or write a letter to your members of Congress.
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...