National Fisherman

The federal Habitat Omnibus Amendment, already a confounding six years in the works, has a nice ring to it.
 
After all, who wouldn’t welcome new protections for our ocean habitat? Perhaps even fishermen, who’ve been at odds over various ocean preservation issues in the past, might support a package like this, given that it’s aimed — at least in theory — in the long-term, sustainable harvesting of seafood, right?
 
Wrong.
 
The truth is, this amendment, as it now stands, is so flawed it’s not worth the considerable paper on which it’s written. And the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, the leading voice and organizational group for the commercial fishing industry in the Northeast, is right to jump in and raise what should be very basic questions to those pushing this painfully misguided attempt at “ocean zoning,” whether federal officials and the nonprofit giants like that term or not.
 
In a nutshell, the proposed habitat amendment will narrow down and designate specific areas of the ocean that will be open to commercial fishermen in the Northeast fishery, perhaps as early as the winter of 2015. And it is once again a measure that would inevitably shut far too many doors on a core American industry that is already in the grips of a recognized “economic disaster” — and one created by our own federal government at that.
 
For one thing — and here’s a surprise — the coalition and other fishing groups are again raising dire questions about the credibility of the science used by what’s being called the Closed Area Technical Team. And beyond the basic science questions, coalition executive director Jackie Odell raises another significant concern as well: Some of the technical team’s recommendations for supposedly easing the clamps on seafood harvesting just don’t make any sense.
 
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15

In this episode:

Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever

Inside the Industry

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.

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NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

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