National Fisherman

Members of Congress from New England have long pushed for common sense when it comes to regulations governing commercial fishing in the coastal waters. The dwindling number of many fish stocks is a fact that cannot be ignored. But the fact that so many people in the region make their money from the sea cannot be ignored either.

Last week New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte recommended changes to the mid-Atlantic Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Act — the 37-year-old federal law that is meant to maintain stock and habitat at sustainable levels. In recent years that's meant strict catch limits for Atlantic cod and haddock.

While the catch limits have allowed the populations of certain fish species to rebound, the massive reductions in fishing limits like the ones imposed earlier this year could well be a death knell to segments of the fishing industry in New Hampshire and Maine.

In May federal regulators cut by 78 percent the number of cod that can be caught in the Gulf of Maine from now through 2015.

"I don't know a business that can go with a 78 percent reduction and survive. This is a matter of survival," Ayotte said last week. She's right.

Ayotte wants to see Magnuson-Stevens revised in a way that ensures any call for mandated reductions can be backed up by sound scientific data. Right now Ayotte believes that the data being used to justify the latest reductions is extremely debatable.

We also agree with Ayotte that given the enormity of reduction the Commerce Department should have, at the very least, approved interim regulations that would have set this year's catch limit at a level that would allow the fishing industry to survive.

Commercial fishing in New Hampshire generates $106 million a year in economic activity and supports about 5,000 full- and part-time jobs. The fact that the reduction includes cod is particularly severe for New Hampshire fishermen as cod accounts for more than 90 percent of their revenue.

Read the full story at the Foster's Daily Democrat>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14

In this episode:

North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup

National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.

 

Inside the Industry

NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

Read more...

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