National Fisherman


Federal fisheries managers have boosted the amount of red snapper by weight we're allowed to take from the Gulf of Mexico this year by 380,000 pounds.

That translates to an increase for recreational anglers of 186,000 pounds compared with the 2012 allocation.

Nobody is cheering, though I expect commercial snapper fisherman are mildly encouraged by the news. They're getting 194,000 pounds more than they did last year.

As I've said before, each annual increase in the snapper allocation is a sign the population is rebuilding and no longer being overfished. And yet you wouldn't know it by the proposed season lengths.

The feds might liken our ever-shrinking seasons to a doctor's orders to continue taking antibiotics long after our symptoms have gone away.

The difference is we trust our doctor.

This year's federal prescription calls for a 12-day Texas season, a nine-day Louisiana season, a 21-day Florida season and a 28-day season for Alabama and Mississippi.

The federal snapper season begins June 1 in all five states. The closing dates for each will be officially announced in May. But don't expect much to change. If you'd like to comment on the 2013 snapper allocation, I'll provide instructions later in this column.

Read the full story at the Caller>>

Inside the Industry

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...
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