National Fisherman


A David and Goliath battle is brewing in the commercial squid fishery, with "scoop" fishermen alleging larger purse seiners are robbing them of their livelihoods, sometimes illegally.

Based mostly in Southern California, members of the smaller brail, or scoop net, fleet say they have not been allowed to fish for three years because larger purse seiners, many of them built in Canada, have pulled in the quota of 118,000 tons before the brail season becomes ripe.

Commercial fishing boats in the United States must be American-built and registered with the Coast Guard. An exception is a foreign-built boat with a hold capacity of less than 5 net tons, or 500 cubic feet, which is considered a recreational vessel and can be registered with the state.

Brail fishermen are complaining that competitors are taking advantage of the exception by paying pennies on the dollar for large Canadian-built purse seiners idled by that country's fishing regulations. The American fishermen then use creative marine architecture, or "deep framing," to reduce the measurable holds and get the vessels registered as less than 5 tons.

Once registered, brail fishermen say, the owners pull out false walls and floors and pull in as much as 150 tons of squid a night.

Read the full story at Monterey Herald>>

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.

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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.

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