National Fisherman

An amendment submitted by Congressman John Tierney to give commercial fishermen access to a U.S. Agriculture emergency disaster loan program had died in the U.S. House, though Tierney hopes it may still find sufficient support through a House-Senate reconciliation.

Tierney’s amendment, tacked onto the proposed Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act — better known as the FARRM Bill — was aimed at making commercial fishermen eligible for the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Disaster Loan program, but went down on a vote of 211-215.

“Despite convincing 23 Republicans to vote in support of my amendment, we ran up against the real consequences of the Ryan Republican budget and sequestration,” said Tierney, whose district includes Gloucester and all of Cape Ann. “With deep cuts to federal programs being implemented, many Republicans are refusing to both restore funding for them and give our struggling commercial fishermen the same opportunity to apply for emergency disaster loans as farmers and ranchers.

“Fortunately, a similar amendment, introduced by Senator Cowan, was included in the Senate’s version of the farm bill, and with this close vote in the House, I am hopeful it will be retained in the House and Senate conference report,” Tierney said.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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