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

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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