National Fisherman


Prowler Fisheries LLC announced last week that it has reached a combined management agreement with Seattle-based Blue North Fisheries.

The combining of management resources is expected to streamline efficiencies and help optimize day-to-day operations for both companies.

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Last week, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed an executive order to transfer administrative and research functions of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

According to a press release from his office, the reorganization will save the state more than $1.3 million a year while continuing to provide appropriate and effective performance of the commission’s core functions.

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The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has voted to name a new deep sea coral protection area in honor of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, a five-term United States senator from New Jersey who was responsible for several important pieces of ocean conservation legislation.

The proposed Frank R. Lautenberg Deep Sea Coral Protection Area encompasses more than 38,000 square miles of federal waters off the Mid-Atlantic coast, according to a release from the council on Feb. 16.

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U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced on Feb. 11 that she is lifting her hold on the confirmation of Dr. Robert Califf, the nominee to be Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Murkowski announced she intended to block his nomination in November of 2015 after the FDA’s approval of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. She wanted guidelines for how the GE salmon would be labeled set before any entered the U.S. market.

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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.

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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.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is calling for nominations from Bristol Bay driftnet (S03T) permit holders to fill three expiring seats on its board of directors. A hard-copy of this notice has just been mailed to all members.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

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If you’ve been thinking about weighing in on a plan to shift red snapper quota from commercial to recreational fishermen, now’s your chance.

Amendment 28 proposes to reallocate the Gulf of Mexico 2016 and 2017 red snapper stock annual catch limit between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51/49 percent to 48.5/51.5 percent, respectively.

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U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell today announced that her bipartisan bill—which will change the market name of “Alaska pollock” to “pollock”—will be included in the Congressional spending bill, also known as the ‘omnibus.’

The bill will legally change the acceptable market name essentially outlawing Pollock harvested in Russia from being passed off as “Alaskan Pollock” in the supermarket. Representative Jamie Herrera Butler sponsored the bill in the House.

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Page 3 of 16

Inside the Industry

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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