National Fisherman

On fisheries, the differences between Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, candidates for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry in late January, were exposed in a dramatic vote by the House in February 2011.

A short-lived bipartisan coalition that night glued onto a continuing budget resolution an amendment from North Carolina Republican Walter Jones that barred the Obama administration from expanding its signature fishing industry innovation — the creation of new catch share fisheries and their commodity quote trading markets — beyond the mix of the Northeast groundfishery that, now three years into the new system, is in a recognized state of economic disaster.

When the roll call on the Jones amendment was completed that morning — at 1:44 a.m. — Markey of Malden, a member since 1976, the dean of the delegation, was with the White House, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and the array of investor, economic and commercial interests behind the Environmental Defense Fund that had lobbied and campaigned for catch shares throughout the second Bush presidency until they succeeded under Barack Obama in 2009.

But on this night, through the efforts of Congressmen Barney Frank and John Tierney as co-sponsors of the Jones amendment — and with only Markey and a retired representative from state's western-most district holding out against the rest of the 10 member delegation — the anti-catch share insurgency carried the House 259-159. Frank, Tierney, Lynch and five other members of the delegation were among 51 Democrats that made up the rare, winning bipartisan coalition.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

Inside the Industry

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.


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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