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

Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.


NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

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