National Fisherman


Gulf of Alaska rationalization is a step closer after the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Oct. 5 action in Anchorage.

The council asked staff to analyze a general structure for rationalizing Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries in an effort to manage bycatch.

The council also took action to collect certain economic data from harvesters and processors in the Gulf of Alaska trawl sector. That effort could inform the council and the public on how a rationalization program will affect communities, fishermen and others involved in the fishery if such a program is implemented.

Such a rule will collect certain data about employment and fishery costs from harvesters and processors that are involved in trawl groundfish fisheries in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska. It also extends the already existing data collection efforts for the fleet, so that they apply to all, rather than just some, vessels.

The new information to be collected includes fuel cost and use, gear purchases, crew compensation, processing crewman hours and payments, and other information.

Eventually, that information could serve as a baseline for fishery economic conditions prior to a new management structure being implemented.

Council member Bill Tweit, who made the motion for action, said he it would be the first time the council set out to collect baseline data before a new management program was implemented. It marked a new step, and he hoped "that it sets a model for the future," he said.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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