National Fisherman


Proposed legislation to protect due-process rights of the holders of fisheries licenses and permits has passed the Massachusetts House and is on the way to the Senate for deliberation there.
 
The legislation, sponsored by state Reps. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester and William Straus of Mattapoisett, both Democrats, expands the appeals process for anyone unsatisfied with the ruling of the state Division of Marine Fisheries on the transfer of a commercial fishing license, permit or certificate of registration.
 
Specifically, the proposed legislation mandates the availability of a judicial review for any decision by DMF on proposed transfers of licenses, permits and certificates of registration. DMF, unlike most state permitting agencies, currently is under no obligation to submit its decisions to judicial review.
 
Stephen Ouellette, a prominent Gloucester maritime attorney, said the legislation represents a positive beginning to the process of reforming the DMF decision-making process, which he described as an “unfettered grant of public authority” that has allowed DMF Director Paul Diodati to make rulings without ever explaining the basis for them.
 
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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