National Fisherman


BOSTON — What science says about the number of fish in the waters off New England shapes the rules that govern the region's struggling fishing fleet. And lately for key species, those estimates have been way off.
 
Some federal population estimates for bottom-dwelling groundfish, such as cod and flounder, have swung wildly. That leaves fishermen scrambling to deal with sudden drops or gains in the portfolio of stocks they depend on to make a living. In addition, a pattern has emerged showing the same bad predictions about key fish species are repeated.
 
Some question how population estimates with such obvious flaws can be used to as a basis for steep cuts in the catches, including massive reductions enacted in May.
 
"I think it's irresponsible to shut down fisheries based on such inaccurate stock assessments," said Steve Cadrin, a former federal stock assessment scientist and a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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