National Fisherman


NOAA has opened up electronic vessel trip reporting to all Northeast region fisheries, potentially offering a more efficient means for fishermen to submit trip information on catch, gear, discards, areas fished and a host of other details required by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
 
The new guidelines, announced last week, also could bring more of the region’s groundfishermen into the electronic trip-reporting fold than have participated since that commercial fleet was the lone segment approved to use the technology more than two years ago.
 
“In the past year, about 70 (groundfish) boats have been set up to report electronically, meaning the software resides on computers onboard their vessels,” said Barry Clifford, NOAA fishery information specialist. “That accounts for about 3,000 reports that we received for this past fishing year. We’re hoping that it will be more widely adopted in the coming fishing year.”
 
Vito Giacalone, policy director for the Northeast Seafood Coalition, said many of the groundfishermen have shied away from using the NOAA system to electronically file their trip reports because the system and its accompanying technology seemed to be ever-shifting, and because it limited their electronic reporting to just groundfish.
 
“They kept moving the bar and changing things when what they needed to do was simplify things,” Giacalone, the coalition’s policy director, said of NOAA officials.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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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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