National Fisherman


CHATHAM — Until last week, many local fishermen thought the herring problem had been solved.
 
After nearly a decade of a hard-fought grass-roots campaign to have fishery managers more closely monitor herring — a keystone species in the food chain — a plan finally emerged.
 
Central to the plan developed last year by the New England Fishery Management Council, was a requirement that all Atlantic herring trips by large vessels, generally more than 100 feet long, be covered by federal observers who would note what was being caught and what was being thrown back.
 
But last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service disapproved the 100-percent observer coverage requirement as well as two other measures considered by advocates to be vital to protecting herring stocks: a requirement that fish dealers weigh the catch and not use estimates based on volume or other methods, and a limit on the number of times herring fishermen could invoke an emergency clause and dump fish from their nets without them being counted by an observer.
 
"They basically approved nothing," said a frustrated and angry John Pappalardo, the CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance and a former member and onetime chairman of the New England council.
 
"They kicked the can down the road," Chatham fisherman John Our said after returning Tuesday from a day's fishing for skates and dogfish.
 
Read the full story at Cape Cod Online>>

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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