NOAA Fisheries regional administrator John Bullard conducted a conference call Monday to drum up interest in a collection of initiatives he hopes will help pull the groundfishery through its current crisis.
But there was little discussion of the 20 items he had already placed on the list, and more about some frustrations about what is not on the list.
Bullard, a former New Bedford mayor, said he wants the document to be a work in progress as people make suggestions and add things to the "to do" list, which includes such things as cooperative research, fishing alternative species and working with the Small Business Administration to see how it can help.
Some of the ideas seemed to miss the mark. Low-interest loans, for example, drew criticism from seafood consultant Jim Kendall of New Bedford. "If a man is dying of thirst, you don't offer him a loan. You give him a glass of water and a sandwich," he said.
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Boost for oyster farming on Cabinet agenda
For the first time in Florida history, if given the go-ahead today by top elected officials, the owners of Spring Creek Restaurant will be allowed to grow oysters in floating cages above their state submerged land aquaculture leases in Alligator Harbor.
The Cabinet meets at 9 a.m. as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to consider a request by the Lovel family's Spring Creek Oyster Co., to allow use of the full water column above their two 1.5-acre clam leases in Franklin County.
Under current state regulations, the growing of shellfish is allowed only up to six inches above the sea floor – a practice that is good for clams, but is not as advantageous for oysters.
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National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14
In this episode:
National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14
In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.