National Fisherman

The law that underpins federal fishing policy in the U.S. is currently in the process of being revised by Congress. The Magnuson-Stevens Act was passed in 1976 with the aim of protecting U.S. federal waters from foreign competition. The goal has been to try and improve the sustainable management of fisheries through the introduction of science-based catch limits. Tom Porter takes a look at what revisions Maine fishermen and scientists want to see from Washington.

"The idea of having science-based catch limits is really at the heart of what the act is trying to accomplish," says Jud Crawford, of the Pew Charitable Trust's Northeast Fisheries Program.

Crawford says you cannot harvest a wild animal population without knowing how much needs to be left intact to replenish the numbers, and that's what the Magnuson-Stevens Act has done.

"The Act has been successful," he says. "It has made a series of changes through the reauthorizations that have made it increasingly effective."

One man who can remember life as a commercial fisherman before Magnuson is Jim Odlin. From offices on Portland's fish pier, Odlin owns and operates a number of groundfishing vessels - both in Maine and in Massachusetts. As a teenager back in the 1970s, he fished regularly in federal waters.

"I have distinct memories - with my first fishing boat I was around 18, 19 - of running through a fleet going towards Brown's Bank, and there was a hundred foreign ships," Odlin says, "so many foreign ships that it lit the sky up like you were going into Boston."

These ships - many of them Russian - hauled everything out the ocean that they could, says Odlin. So when Congress passed Magnuson-Stevens, and effectively kicked out the foreigners, fishermen like him were relieved.

But 27 years later, Odlin says, the New England groundfish fleet has shrunk, from about 1,200 active vessels down to less than 400, only about 10 percent of which are in Maine. Entire fishing ports, he says, have effectively disappeared.

Read the full story at Maine Public Broadcasting Network>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

SeaShare, a non-profit organization that facilitates donations of seafood to feed the hungry, announced on Wednesday, July 29 that it had partnered up with Alaska seafood companies, freight companies and the Coast Guard, to coordinate the donation and delivery of 21,000 pounds of halibut to remote villages in western Alaska. 

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard loaded 21,000 pounds of donated halibut on its C130 airplane in Kodiak and made the 634-mile flight to Nome.

Read more...

The New England Fishery Management Council  is soliciting applications for seats on the Northeast Trawl Survey Advisory Panel and the deadline to apply is July 31 at 5:00 p.m.

The panel will consist of 16 members including members of the councils and the Atlantic States Fishery Commission, industry experts, non-federal scientists and Northeast Fisheries Science Center scientists. Panel members are expected to serve for three years.

Read more...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email