National Fisherman


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — This has been the second-coldest spring in the last century, and as a result, brown shrimp have grown more slowly than the U.S. economy. That put the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in a tight squeeze when setting the dates Thursday for the 2013 inshore shrimp seasons.

On the one hand, if they voted to open the seasons too early, the shrimp wouldn't be big enough for market, but if they elected to wait too long, the shrimp might all move out to the open Gulf, pushed by big spring tides and a blast of cold, fresh water moving down the Mississippi River.

The commission ultimately voted to follow the recommendations of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, presented to the commission by head shrimp biologist, Marty Bourgeois.

In the Barataria Basin, the season will open May 20, which is remarkably late. Last year, the season opened May 7 in the same estuary.

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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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