National Fisherman


A program benefiting the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico by recycling retired natural gas and oil structures as artificial reefs, would enhance fish habitat benefiting recreational and commercial fishermen, scuba divers and Gulf communities.
 
The Gulf of Mexico lacks natal reefs. Rigs-to-Reefs is a nationwide program to turn decommissioned offshore oil and petroleum rigs into artificial reefs developed by the former Minerals Management Service, now Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
In 1938 Pure and Superior Oil companies built the first freestanding drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico designed by Houston’s Brown & Root Marine. The 320-foot by 180-foot freestanding wooden deck stood in 14-feet of water about a mile offshore from Creole, LA.
 
With the appearance of that first Gulf rig, fishermen found they caught more fish near platforms. Subsequent research over the decades has determined the platforms act as artificial reefs, attracting and enhancing fish populations.
 
Read the full story at Gulf Seafood News>>

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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