National Fisherman

HARTFORD — Jeff Wilcox is shutting his 135-year-old family marine supply business in Stonington, Conn., a casualty in the battle over federal fishing limits.
 
As fishermen are sidelined, taking their boats out of service for lack of work, New England’s marine industry that repairs, stores, and cleans boats is next in line to feel the hit. Wilcox, owner of Wilcox Marine Supply, blames the federal government and the fishing limits it’s imposed. In Stonington, he said, the number of draggers — fishermen who drag nets behind their boats —has dropped since the mid-1990s from 50 to two. His business, which employed 13 people in the early 1990s, has dwindled to just himself.
 
‘‘It’s put almost all the fisheries out of business and now it’s trickled down to me,’’ he said.
 
Many southern New England fishing communities face a similar problem. Richard Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, warns that if the fleet continues to be diminished, ‘‘Rhode Islanders could see a local heritage industry slip away and become a museum piece.’’
 
John Bullard, the Northeast’s top regulator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has said sharp cuts in fishing catches are painful but necessary to help fish stocks rebound.
 
The most significant cut is a 78 percent year-to-year reduction in the catch of Gulf of Maine cod. Fishermen also are forced to take in fewer key flounder and haddock species. Fishery scientists say some species are recovering far too slowly, requiring cuts in catch to meet mandates to end overfishing and rebuild fish stocks.
 
Fishermen have criticized science that they say has underestimated the health of fish stocks. Because of the rules, which are the subject of a lawsuit filed last year by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, fishermen say they can’t catch enough fish to stay in business.
 
Read the full story at the Boston Globe>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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