National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

This week fishermen in and around Alaska's Kenai Peninsula are scrambling to catch what the Alaska Dispatch referred to as a mushroom cloud of sockeye salmon.

Southeast seiners are hauling in pinks, as projected.

Last year's record return of 34 million sockeye to the once-beleaguered Fraser River had everyone scratching their heads and then whipping out their nets.

That return is expected to be about 3 million this year, but its collapse has long been theorized to be related to nearby salmon farms.

So why the rush to boost finfish aquaculture?

There's a commonly touted misconception that the more people eat wild stocks, the more pressure we will put on those stocks and the more quickly they will collapse.

But in well-managed fisheries, market demand does not increase biomass and, therefore, does not increase fishing effort.

What we should focus on is minimizing bycatch, allowing fishermen to land their reduced bycatch, maximizing onboard processing so we can eat wild fish in and out of season, and marketing so-called trash fish.

I don't think wild fish is likely to fill the gap that imported seafood fills now, but it could go a long way toward feeding our citizens with our own healthy, wild seafood while simultaneously boosting port communities by securing infrastructure and jobs.

We've seen what can happen when the federal government gets behind a program like catch shares. Now let's see them get behind a movement to feed America with the best we have to offer.

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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