National Fisherman


BOSTON — At the northeast corner of the Boston Fish Pier, not far from an unloading boat, Massachusetts' elected leaders from the U.S. Senate and House and lawmakers from the State House came together Monday in an 11th hour rally aimed at convincing the White House or the outgoing acting Secretary of Commerce to overrule the leaders of NOAA and grant a regulatory reprieve to the Northeast groundfishery.

Barring the extraordinary, draconian cuts in landings for the 2013 fishing season will take effect tomorrow — May 1, the start of the new fishing year. Cuts in landings of Gulf of Maine Cod, the lifeblood for the inshore fleet based in Gloucester, would be 77 percent of this year's allocation. Landings of cod and yellowtail in offshore Georges Bank would be cut by more than 60 percent, paralyzing the fleet from New Bedford.

It was Attorney General Martha Coakley, a leading advocate for the fishing industry along with Gov. Deval Patrick who put it directly to NOAA's Gloucester-based Northeast regional administrator while addressing the roughly 300 fishermen present as well.

"I hope, Mr. Bullard," she said, speaking beneath a big canvas tent, "that you can take the 'no' out of NOAA."

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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