Written by Jen Finn
Without a stock assessment and to howls of outrage by industry and questions about the justification of the action by the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA approved a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council 15 months ago that granted Atlantic sturgeon protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided that its Jan. 31, 2012 action — declaring the sturgeon endangered along the entire Atlantic Coast except in the Gulf of Maine, where it was only "threatened" — was premature and may not have been necessary.
The agency last week published a draft biological opinion that in effect contradicts its original decision, and has opened a 60-day comment period on the finding of "no jeopardy" to the sturgeon from major fisheries.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>
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...