National Fisherman

The act regulating America’s fisheries could see changes under the discussion draft proposed by the House Natural Resources Committee.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, was up for reauthorization this year but that process won’t be finalized until 2014.
The House Natural Resources Committee released draft legislation Dec. 19 with 30 pages of proposed MSA changes that address several major fisheries issues, including catch share programs, electronic monitoring, rebuilding plans and the term “overfished.”
The draft legislation would authorize the MSA through 2018, and also authorize appropriations for five more years at the current funding level.
Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of that committee, said the changes will help fisheries managers balance the biological needs of fish and the economic needs of fishermen.
“The purpose of this draft proposal is to gather public input and to see how to best improve and modernize this important law governing fisheries,” Hastings said in an official statement. “This proposal would give regional fishery managers increased flexibility to deal with the complexity of fishery issues and provide economic stability and certainty to fishermen and fishery dependent communities. It also would improve data collection and increase transparency so that management decisions are based on sound science and all who are impacted by this law can have an active role in the process.”
Read the full story at Peninsula Clarion>>

Inside the Industry

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.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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