National Fisherman


Keith Rhodes, chef at the Wilmington, N.C., restaurant Catch, has announced that he will resign from his at-large seat on the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission after a vote on flounder fishing restrictions drew angry debate.

His resignation letter was dated Nov. 20, the last day of the commission’s November meeting. In that meeting, members of the commission voted for limits of flounder fishing that the commercial fishing industry opposed. He was one of six members for voted for the passing regulations.

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The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute recently announced two additions to the seafood marketing team that represents the Alaska seafood industry.

Susan Marks was brought on board to oversee ASMI’s Sustainability program while Michael Kohan will head the seafood technical program.

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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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Page 5 of 17

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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