National Fisherman

The Northeast Seafood Coalition scored a significant victory this week when it helped fight off additional fishery closures related to what it regarded as unwarranted efforts to protect the harbor porpoise.

Now, the Gloucester-based industry group is gearing up for the next potential threat to the already-reeling Northeast groundfish industry: the Habitat Omnibus Amendment.

"It's all about habitat," NSC executive director Jackie Odell said when asked what's next on the coalition's agenda.

And with good reason.

The crafting of the Habitat Omnibus Amendment ultimately will determine the specific areas of the ocean that will be open to fishermen in the Northeast multispecies fishery. The modifications are expected to take effect in the winter of 2015.

It is an extraordinarily complex process, now moving into its sixth year. It is heavily driven by science and varying perspective — and thus often rife with the contention and disagreement that have emerged as the hallmarks of the effort to sustain and govern the American commercial fishing industry.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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