National Fisherman


Homer is No. 1 once again when it comes to commercial halibut, landing some 4.4 million pounds and beating out Kodiak this year by 1 million pounds.
 
Homer has traditionally led the pack in commercial halibut landings since the IFQ program was put in place in the mid-1990s. But in 2011 and 2012, Kodiak beat out Homer, a reversal that caught many by surprise. Those in the industry speculated Kodiak topped Homer because of prices and the ability of fisherman to shop around via satellite phones from fishing grounds in search of the best prices.
 
But Matt Clarke, deputy harbormaster in Homer, said his town is likely to remain the top landings port for halibut because of its proximity to the fishing grounds and the market. Homer is on the road system, so fish can be iced and shipped to market fresh.
 
“Homer has a logistical advantage compared to other coastal ports,” Clarke said. He added that the town at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula sees not only landings from fishing vessels that call Homer their home port, but also from vessels as far away as Seattle, Juneau, Sitka and even Kodiak.
 
Read the full story Alaska Dispatch>>

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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