National Fisherman


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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The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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Jennifer Young, the owner of Food Safety Solutions and food safety specialist, has been based out of Hawaii for seven years, but will soon be joining the Gulf Seafood institute and moving back to Louisiana.

During her time in Hawaii, Young learned the seafood industry from the ground up. Starting her education at the auction, to cutting and trimming, grading, sales, marketing and finally graduating into food safety compliance and sustainability issues.

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Last week, the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust announced the acquisition of more than $1 million in commercial groundfish fishing quota from The Nature Conservancy, permanently securing these historic fishing rights for the long-term benefit of the Monterey Bay community.

 The Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust is a nonprofit organization created to own and lease groundfish quota to local fishermen, while working to improve the economic and environmental performance of the fishery.

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This week Cordova District Fishermen United, a non-profit focused on Prince William Sound, became the newest member of the Seafood Harvesters of America, which now represents 17 commercial fishing organizations.

“The addition of CDFU brings with it notable leadership in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. CDFU is an exceptional organization; we are thrilled to work with them,” said Chris Brown, the chairman of the association, in a press release. The Seafood Harvesters of America is a better group for their inclusion. We share the core values of resource stewardship and accountability. We are traveling on the same pathway towards a great American fishery.”

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After a 30-year career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Jeff Regnart will be stepping down as director of the state’s commercial fisheries division on Oct. 2.

Regnart explained the main reasons for stepping down were to take care of his family and aging parents, which would require him to spend too much time out of state to keep up with the demands of the position.

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The longest running coastal shark research survey along the East Coast has completed its 2015 field work, capturing and tagging more than 2,800 sharks, the most in the survey’s 29-year history. The results are very good news for shark populations.

The last survey was in 2012, during which 1,831 sharks were captured and tagged, compared with 2,835 in 2015. In all, 13 shark species were among the 16 species of fish caught. 

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Page 7 of 17

Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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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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