National Fisherman


Members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas heeded calls by environmental groups and left bluefin tuna catch quotas in the Atlantic unchanged, while rejecting proposals to impose the first quotas for some shark species. 
 
The commission, which is known as ICCAT and has 46 member countries as well as the European Union, decided to leave the 2014 quota at 1,750 metric tons in the western Atlantic and 13,400 tons in the eastern Atlantic at a week-long meeting in Cape Town that ended yesterday.
 
“We are very happy about that,” Sergi Tudela, head of fisheries for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, told reporters in Cape Town yesterday. “It was very important for ICCAT to stick to science and to follow the scientific recommendations against some pressure from the contracting parties to increase the quota this year.”
 
Atlantic bluefin tuna, sold in premium sushi restaurants, can sell for tens of thousands of dollars per fish, which can each grow to the size of a small car.
 
“We decided to wait until next year’s stock assessment,” before deciding whether to review catch quotas, Masanori Miyahara, the commission’s chairman, said in an interview after the conclusion of the meetings. “Research is going on but we haven’t received the outcomes yet. We have worked very constructively and the results are very good for the stocks.” 
 
Read the full story at Bloomberg>>

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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