National Fisherman

Yes, the numbers are grim.
 
The latest NOAA annual report on the Northeast groundfishery shows that landings were down by 24.9 percent across the region, while landings and values both hit four-year lows in Gloucester, and overall values fell by nearly 25 percent from the previous year.
 
But as much as those statistics document the plunge of the Gloucester and Northeast groundfisheries into the “economic disaster” the Department of Commerce had already recognized, it’s important to remember that this report – as outlined in Friday’s Times — covers only the 2012 fishing year.
 
That’s the year that ran from May 1, 2012, through last April 30 — the year before NOAA put new clamps on the industry with cuts in catch limits of up to 78 percent from even the previous year.
 
That means these statistics — clearly driven more by NOAA’s catch share management system than the hard catch limits themselves – spotlights only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to documenting the current fishing crisis. And that’s a scary premise when one even considers looking ahead to this same state-of-the-fishery report for the current 2013 fishing year, which began under the new restrictions last May 1 and continues through this April 30.
 
The 2012 groundfish report, just released last week, seems hopelessly outdated when it notes the number of fishing vessels dropped from 776 in 2011 to 764 in 2012 — while Gloucester’s actually adding one boat to rise from 91 to 92.
 
Since last May, however, the active Gloucester groundfishing fleet has, by some counts, fallen to a fraction of that, with fishermen not only selling off their boats, but putting their homes on the block as well in the face of bankruptcy and foreclosure. Yet those statistics presumably won’t be available until up to a year from now. 
 
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
Read more...

NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email