National Fisherman


A 45-day  public comment period is open on a halibut catch sharing plan for Southeast and the Central Gulf of Alaska.

The plan was recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council last fall and the public comment period is part of the process for implementing new federal regulations. Rachel Baker is a fishery management specialist with NOAA Fisheries in Alaska.

“It will change the annual process of allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska,” she says. “It will establish allocations for each sector and then specify methods for setting harvest restrictions for charter anglers.”

The proposed system would allocate a percentage of the combined charter and commercial catch to the charter fleet, with the overall amount set each year by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

To keep the charter catch at allocation levels, the North Pacific council is expected to annually recommend charter fleet management measures as well as bag and size limits. The plan would replace the guideline harvest level system currently in place for the charter fleet.

Read the full story at KTOO>>

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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