National Fisherman


The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.

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NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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President Obama signed the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act last Thursday, strengthening the U.S. commitment to fighting seafood fraud.

The bi-partisan legislation will help prevent illegally harvested fish from entering the United States, and supports efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries around the world.

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Coast Guard agencies from nations signed a joint statement last Friday, officially establishing the Arctic Coast Guard Forum.

The organization is meant to foster safe and environmentally friendly maritime activities in the Arctic. Membership includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation, and the United States.

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Commercial fishermen who target dolphinfish along the Atlantic coast may be operating under a new commercial trip limit if measures proposed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are approved during its December meeting in Atlantic Beach, NC.

On June 30, 2015, the commercial dolphin fishery was closed for the first time when NMFS projected that the annual catch limit of 1,157,001 pounds would be met. The council is now developing an amendment to the management plan, likely using trip limits designed to extend the commercial season.

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At their October meeting, the Coastal Villages Region Fund’s board of directors approved $1.5 million in additional program spending. The funding will go toward CVRF’s Community Designated Fund program.

The purpose of the Community Designated Fund is to support CVRF’s member communities in their endeavors for overall economic development, consistent with the mission of the Community Development Quota program.

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The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute promoted International Director Alexa Tonkovich to take the reins as executive director of the organization. Mike Cerne stepped down from his post this summer and made way for his predecessor, Ray Riutta, to lead the organization in the interim.

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Scott Kelley, a longtime employee of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, will be taking over the position of director of commercial fisheries as of Oct. 21.

The appointment comes almost three weeks after former director Jeff Regnart, who worked in the department for 30 years, abruptly stepped down from the position to spend more time with his family and work as a consultant for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

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NMFS is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would withhold a percentage of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico.

This action would withhold 4.9 percent (352,000 lbs) of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of Amendment 28’s approval.

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Page 4 of 15

Inside the Industry

(Bloomberg) — After fighting for more than two years to avoid paying almost $1 billion in oil spill damages to Gulf Coast shrimpers, oystermen and seafood processors it claimed didn’t exist, BP Plc has thrown in the towel.

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(Bloomberg) — Millions of dead fish stretched out over 200 kilometers of central Vietnamese beaches are posing the biggest test so far for the new government.

The Communist administration led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has been criticized on social media for a lack of transparency and slow response, with thousands protesting Sunday in major cities and provincial areas.

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