National Fisherman


The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the $1 trillion Appropriations Bill containing $75 million in disaster aid to fishermen and fishing communities yesterday afternoon, sending the measure along to the Senate, where it is expected to pass in a vote that could come as soon as today.
 
The landslide passage in the House, by a vote of 359-67, was regarded as the most prominent hurdle remaining in the path of the bill that provides the first tangible instance of direct federal financial assistance to fishermen and their communities since the Department of Commerce’s 2012 declaration of a disaster in the Northeast groundfish fishery.
 
The bill’s successful journey through the House appropriation process also represented an immense victory for the Massachusetts House delegation, including Rep. John Tierney.
 
Starting literally from scratch, the Massachusetts delegation helped convince House appropriators to come up with $75 million — half of the initial $150 million Senate appropriation — to aid fishermen in the nation’s fisheries.
 
The bill is expected to pass in the Senate, where the initial appropriation of $150 million had strong support, including that of Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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