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

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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