National Fisherman


WASHINGTON — A legislative proposal that could ease limits on fish catches in federal waters including the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic is drawing praise from fishermen who say current restrictions are hurting them economically.


But conservationists counter that rolling back the limits would threaten the fragile health of certain stocks just now rebounding.

A Tuesday hearing by the House Natural Resources Committee was the first on the issue since December, when the committee released the GOP legislative proposal that would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The act governs the nation’s fisheries and spells out how eight regional councils are allowed to manage fish populations in federal waters.

The GOP proposal would give those councils more flexibility in how they rebuild fisheries and set catch limits, a primary tool to prevent overfishing of certain species. Fishermen and key advocates, including Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, say the limits have been overused recently at a cost to their industry.

Read the full story at the Tallahassee Democrat>>

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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