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: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.