National Fisherman

AUGUSTA – A state-run permitting program that helps Maine's long-ailing groundfishing industry should be open to boats of all sizes, supporters of a bill to expand a so-called permit bank said Wednesday.

L.D. 939, sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, would allocate $3.5 million in state money annually to the Maine Groundfish Permit Bank, established in 2010 with federal money administered by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

At a public hearing Wednesday before the Legislature's Marine Resources Committee, the bill faced no opposition. Some in the groundfish industry and the Maine Lobstermen's Association testified in support of it.

Alfond said his bill "will have real economic benefit by creating a mechanism to provide Maine fishermen access to additional groundfishing quota at affordable rates."

Under the program, the state auctions off shares of its allotted annual catch of groundfish -- 14 fish species including cod, haddock and halibut -- to high bidders, which include the Penobscot East Resource Center in Stonington and the Nature Conservancy. Those entities lease permits at affordable rates to small-scale fishermen.

Under a federal agreement with Maine, permits go only to operators of vessels as long as 45 feet based in communities with populations of 30,000 or less, allowing more access to fish than they would otherwise have.

Read the full story at the Kennebec Journal>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14

In this episode:

North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup

National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.

 

Inside the Industry

NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

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