National Fisherman


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources plans to raise the cost of most commercial fishing and crabbing licenses to offset money spent by the state for fisheries management and law enforcement.
 
For watermen, especially ones who work on the water as a part-time job, the higher fees add to the escalating cost of bait, fuel and equipment.
 
But the increases are needed to maintain the level of management and to keep fisheries open, according to two statewide watermen’s associations that helped develop the new price structure with DNR officials.
 
“We have to increase all those licenses fees because they haven’t been increased for a number of years,” Mick Blackistone, executive director of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, said.
 
The Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association, which splintered from the other state association several years ago, also helped draft the new price structure.
 
Gina Hunt, deputy director of DNR fishery service, said most or all of the fees associated with commercial licenses had not changed since 1994. “We didn’t have the dollars to continue to provide the services at the level we had been providing” to commercial fisheries, Hunt said.
 
DNR officials presented scenarios to the watermen groups of reduced services and limiting fisheries to the watermen groups. The associations in turn recognized the need for changes.
 
“The watermen prepared those fees themselves,” Hunt said, to determine how much licenses and fees needed to be raised to bring in $1.6 million.
 
Read the full story at the Maryland Independent>>

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.

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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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