Written by Jen Finn
The relatively rare, unified stand by all eight U.S. fishery management councils calling for more flexibility within the Magnuson-Stevens Act may not make a whit's bit of difference for fishermen and waterfront businesses in Gloucester and elsewhere.
That's because these councils, which can make proposals and advise NOAA leaders on fishery policies, can't affect anything beyond that, as local fishermen, waterfront business owners and even state and federal lawmakers have come to know all too well. NOAA Northeast Administrator John Bullard paid no mind to the New England Council's recommendation for a second year of more reasonable cod limits, before standing by the cuts of up to 78 percent that are now in place — just as his predecessor, Patricia Kurkul, more than once overruled council votes of 16-1 when she was the "one."
But in taking their announced, united stand at the start of a three-day fishery management conference in the nation's capital, the eight councils — who deal with vastly different fishing worlds and issues from here to Alaska — have sent a clear signal not only to NOAA, but to the giant nonprofit organizations like the Pew Environment Group, which, like its allies, continues to carry far too much weight on these councils regarding fisheries issues, and which is a primary financial sponsor of this week's supposedly neutral, NOAA-led conference.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>
NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.Read more...
Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.
Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.Read more...