National Fisherman


AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that opens the entire St. Croix watershed to sea-run alewives for the first time in nearly three decades went into law Tuesday without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage.

The bill, LD 72, An Act to Open the St. Croix River to River Herring, breezed through the House and Senate and was sent to LePage's desk on April 10. Under Maine law, the governor has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto bills or they become law automatically.

Rep. Madonna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, who sponsored the bill, said it came about because Native Americans, sportsmen and others wanted to let alewives swim their natural course.

"This is a survival issue," she said.

The bill became law with only about a week to spare before its contents become relevant. It requires state officials to remove barriers in fishways at Grand Falls Dam in Washington County by May 1 in order to allow alewifes to migrate upriver. It would be the first time since 1995 that the fish would have full access to the St. Croix River watershed.

Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

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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