Written by Jen Finn
Citing widespread evidence of an abundance of important commercial in shore fish stocks and a scientific study that found flaws in the modeling methods used by the government to set catch limits, a contingent of state lawmakers led by Senate President Therese Murray are urging NOAA's top fisheries official to allow the fleet reasonable access to stocks while new studies are conducted into the vitality of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, both of Gloucester, were among the 24 signers of a letter sent Monday and released to the Times this morning addressed to Samuel D. Rauch III, the acting administer of fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The lawmakers emphasized to Rauch that a compelling legal case exists for the government to institute a second year of interim catch limits on Gulf of Maine cod, now in line for a 77 percent cut in landings based on a decision by Regional Administrator John Bullard and supported by a legal brief by the general counsel for NOAA that has been withheld from the public.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...