National Fisherman


At the most recent hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, testimony focused largely on rebuilding efforts, underutilized stocks and a national seafood sustainability certification.

Witnesses from the commercial and sport fishing sectors, as well as scientists and representatives of nongovernment organizations, talked about several fishery management issues they'd like to see addressed at a U.S. House Natural Resources Committee hearing Sept. 11.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, regulates management of federal fisheries from three miles to 200 miles offshore. It was implemented in 1976, and most recently updated in 2006. Alaska's delegation has said that a reauthorization likely won't come until next year.

In his opening comments, Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., touched on a number of topics that could show up in the revisions, including the information available about sport fishing harvest and efforts, the confidential and proprietary nature of some fisheries data collection efforts and flexibility in rebuilding periods for certain stocks.

As is, Hastings said, the rebuilding periods sometimes cause economic hardships for communities, and some flexibility could be beneficial.

Hastings' points were echoed in testimony from several witnesses, most of whom represented Lower 48 fishing interests.

Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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