National Fisherman


WASHINGTON — The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 contains a provision that U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, said is important for the seafood industry on the Eastern Shore.
 
The provision would allow Maryland’s seafood industry to continue to stagger its seasonal foreign workers on H-2B temporary work visas to support harvests during peak seasons. The legislation is currently in the House of Representatives, and the Senate is expected to take it up later this week.
 
H-2B visa workers are temporarily hired from other countries for seasonal industries and then return home once the visa expires. Before being eligible for H-2B visas, a business must first try to find workers who are already in the U.S.
 
“Maryland’s seafood industry is critical for jobs on the Eastern Shore and our way of life,” Mikulski said. “From harvesting crabs to shucking oysters, temporary and seasonal workers ensure Maryland’s seafood industry continues to prosper.”
 
Read the full story at My Eastern Shore MD>>

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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