National Fisherman


THE US city of Boston, still recovering from the terrorist bomb attack on the Marathon two weeks ago, will come alive again later today to the sound of protesting fishermen.

The regional Northeast Seafood Coalition, is holding a major public rally calling for more Federal help for the region's groundfishing industry which is under severe pressure at the moment. Because of restrictions, catches of cod, the staple species of the area, have fallen by over 70 per cent.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition has issued an open invitation for fishermen and their supporters to attend the rally which starts from the Boston Fish Pier. It says the rally will provide an opportunity for the groundfish industry to call upon the federal government for short and long-term assistance and mitigation that are critical to keeping businesses viable.

With the start of the new fishing season on Wednesday this week, the organisers are keen to get their message across to the government and to the public. They say the industry has been in decline since the Obama administration adopted a policy of making the industry move to a catch share management system. This provokes fishermen into trading their share of the quota which has benefited larger vessels to the detriment of the smaller independently owned trawlers.

Last September the acting commerce secretary, Rebecca Blank, declared the Northeast (New England) ground fishing sector to be an economic disaster zone. However, the fishermen say no financial help has been forthcoming.

Read the full story at Fish Update>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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