National Fisherman


A new approach to scallop monitoring in Maine state waters has led to changes in scallop abundance estimates that will reopen three important fishing grounds this season, according to a release from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

The areas opening are Inner Machias Rotational Area, Wahoa/Jonesport Reach and Gouldsboro Bay and Dyers Bay, which were closed through emergency rulemaking by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on December 13, 2015. The Department will open the areas the week of March 14 by allowing the emergency regulation to lapse.

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On Tuesday, Saving Seafood released a new video highlighting how the U.S. seafood industry is focused on sustainable, traceable, and high-quality local seafood.

Taken from a series of interviews conducted by Saving Seafood at last year’s Seafood Expo, the video features representatives from some of New England’s most prominent seafood companies sharing how they ensure that domestic seafood is fresh, sustainably sourced, and reliably traced.

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program released new and updated assessments on king and snow crab from Alaska last week.

Bristol Bay red king crab from the Eastern Bering Sea has been elevated to a “best choice” by Seafood Watch.

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After serving as director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries for over nine years, Dr. Louis Daniel has resigned.

The announcement was made in an email sent by John Evans, the Chief Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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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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Inside the Industry

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

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