National Fisherman


Maine scallop fishermen kicked off their season Monday with some of the highest per-pound prices ever seen, helping to offset harvesting restrictions put in place to better manage the fishery, a state official said.
 
Fishermen in the scallop-rich waters of Cobscook Bay near the Canadian border were being paid $12 to $13 per pound on the opening day, far higher than last season’s prices that ranged between $7 and $9, said Trisha DeGraaf, scallop resource management coordinator from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
 
“This year’s price is the highest I’ve ever seen it,” she said Monday after visiting Cobscook Bay, where more than 100 scallop boats were out despite rough weather.
 
Maine’s scallop fishermen operate under a regulatory system that divides the state into three zones with restrictions and closures aimed at allowing scallops to replenish.
 
For most of the coast, the scallop season will last 70 days. But the season will be limited to a 50-day season in Cobscook Bay. Daily catch limits are also in place.
 
Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said the restrictions have been challenging, but the efforts aimed at restoring the fishery are working.
 
In 2012, fishermen hauled in 2.4 million pounds of whole scallops, or about 290,000 pounds of meat, the best harvest in a decade. The catch was worth $3.2 million.
 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...
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