National Fisherman

The restructured observer program, and plans for 2014, will be up for discussion at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in October, including the electronic monitoring component of the program.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, has been working on a pilot project to see how electronic monitoring, or EM, could be used as part of the observer program.

That’s something many in the industry hoped would be part of the program all along.

Jeff Stephan, director of the United Fishermen’s Marketing Association, wrote in an email that his organization “strongly supported the concept of NMFS expeditiously moving forward on all EM fronts.”

The group had hoped NMFS would test and implement the technology widely and productively, across a range of fishing fleets, Stephan wrote.

This year the agency had difficulty getting vessels to participate in the pilot project.

In June, the council agreed to send a letter asking vessel owners to participate after the agency said that it was having trouble getting the cameras on boats.

Now NMFS is asking the council to discuss ways to incentivize participation. NMFS sent the council a letter Sept. 13 asking it to consider placing pilot program participants in the “no coverage” category so they wouldn’t have to take a human observer.

That’s something members of the industry said would help encourage participation at the June meeting. Arranging to take a camera can add time in port for a fishing vessel, and make getting out on the water a little more difficult, fishermen said. The waiver from human coverage could make it easier.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

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Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

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