National Fisherman


WEST OCEAN CITY — A persistent sandbar at the entrance to the West Ocean City commercial fishing harbor is causing problems for incoming fishing boats, meaning additional dredging may be needed to improve maritime traffic.
 
John Martin, of Martin Fish Co., said the sandbar between buoys 11 and 12 has been keeping 80-foot fishing trawlers from getting into the harbor with their daily catch. The boats only can get in when it’s high tide, and even then, Martin said, they’re scraping the bottom. That’s because the harbor is 10 feet deep, and his boats have a 12-foot draft.
 
Martin wants to see the harbor dredged to a depth of 14 feet to ensure that larger vessels are able to clear the harbor bottom safely.
 
“That particular spot just humps up, and it’s always been a little bit of a shallow spot for years, but it’s been bad for the last five, six years,” he said. “If the boat can’t come in and unload, or he’s afraid it’s going to tear the bottom of his boat up, it’s a problem. I don’t know how to put a number on it, because prices change and quotas change. We’re the only oceanside port in Maryland we can’t afford to lose anything.”
 
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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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