National Fisherman


This weekend, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to put new restrictions on the Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet in an effort to curb chinook salmon bycatch. APRN's Alexandra Gutierrez reports.

There was almost certainly going to be a cap. All the other trawl fisheries had one, and concern over the health of Alaska's chinook runs has only increased in recent years. The question was just how much chinook salmon could the Gulf's trawl fleet take unintentionally before they would have to pull up their nets and stop fishing, period.

In the end, the number was 7,500 salmon. Here's council member Bill Tweit, who represents the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"Certainly, the extent and depth of the chinook conservation crisis right now gives us no choice as a council but to respond with a conservation measure."

The move wasn't without some disagreement. Bycatch in the fishery has fluctuated between 3,000 and 10,000 fish over the years. Conservation groups wanted a cap near the low end, while fleet representatives pushed for a limit closer to historical highs.

Read the full story at Alaska Public Media>>

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.

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.

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