National Fisherman


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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After a closure that lasted more than two months, Hawaii's longline vessels can fish again for bigeye tuna in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

Since Aug. 5, the 145 active vessels in the Hawaii longline fleet have been prohibited from catching bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

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Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.

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NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

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Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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Page 7 of 18

Inside the Industry

The Obama Administration recently announced that it is looking for candidates to be considered for a sustainable fishing prize.

The White House Champion for Change for Sustainable Seafood designation will honor individuals for “contributing to the ongoing recovery of America’s fishing industry and our fishing communities.”

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The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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