National Fisherman


The city is sponsoring an all-day "solutions workshop" today with an eye toward sketching out options for the future for what once was the nation's greatest fishing port, but now faces catastrophic cutbacks for the new fishing year beginning next Wednesday.

The workshop begins with remarks by Mayor Carolyn Kirk at 9 a.m. at the Gloucester House Restaurant, followed by an overview of the efforts to convince the federal government to allow a second year of interim catch limits, and an easing of the dire May 1 cuts that many see threatening the groundfishing industry that remains rooted in Gloucester.

The regional administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, John Bullard, has said he would not grant the relief — which for the ending year required only a 22 percent cut in Gulf of Maine cod landings, the primary stock harvested by the fleet of mostly day boats operating from the port.

A 77 percent cut — effectively eliminating the landing of inshore cod as anything but a by-catch fishery — is expected to appear in the Federal Register at any time for the new year that begins Wednesday. Bullard said he has been deluged with pleas for relief, but he reiterated at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting that ended on Thursday in Mystic, Conn., that he would resist even President Obama, whom he said he had not yet heard from.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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