National Fisherman


A Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council member and commercial fishing boat owner defended his crew members who were convicted last week for taking fish from one of the most protected areas in the Lower Keys.
 
"They absolutely will remain the subcontractors on my boat," said Martin Fisher, the chairman of two advisory panels with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council -- the Reef Fish Advisory Panel and the Coastal Migratory Pelagics panel. "They're positions are no way in jeopardy."
 
As part of a plea agreement, the captain of Fisher's vessel the Sundancer, James Michael-Milas Redden, 43, and his mate, James Evan Mooneyham, 48, were both adjudicated guilty on Jan. 6 of fishing in a sanctuary preservation area, and possession or harvesting of fish in a protected area, said Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Anna Hubicki.
 
County Judge Peary Fowler sentenced both men each to 30 days in county jail and ordered them to pay $1,000 in fines that will go to wildlife conservation funds. Both will also serve 12 months probation upon their release.
 
The $5,000 that came from the sale of the 1,556 pounds of mostly red grouper, assorted other groupers and snapper confiscated from the Sundancer will go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Hubicki said.
 
The Sundancer is a 38-foot boat homeported in Tarpon Springs.
 
Both charges are second-degree misdemeanors, each punishable by a maximum of up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines. 
 
Read the full story at the Key West Citizen>>

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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