National Fisherman


A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals a startling truth about the seafood that Americans eat: more than 91 percent of it is imported, and "nearly every foreign fish product sold in the United States enters the U.S. market in violation of federal law."
 
According to the Marine Mammal protection act (MMPA), all seafood that is imported into the U.S. is supposed to meet our country's standards on bycatch -- when fish or marine mammals are caught by accident and subsequently thrown back dead or alive. The MMPA calls for monitoring bycatch both by a government-managed observer program and by self-reporting from fishing vessels. It also calls for reducing incidental deaths and injuries of marine mammals, with the ultimate goal of eliminating death and injury altogether.
 
Unfortunately, the MMPA standards are vague and not well-implemented. The NRDC reports that bycatch is rampant, with more than 650,000 marine mammals dying or getting severely injured each year as a result of bycatch.
 
Because the federal government has never strictly enforced the MMPA, foreign fisheries have not invested in curtailing bycatch. As a result, these fisheries export problematic seafood to the United States.
 
Read the full story at Huffington Post>>

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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