National Fisherman

Massachusetts will lose about $34 million in direct revenues because of lower fish landings in 2013 due to the ongoing fishing crisis, and direct and indirect revenue losses to the state’s fishing industry and the communities that host it will be about $103 million, Gov. Deval Patrick said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Patrick’s letter, written in support of the federal provision of $75 million in disaster aid for six declared disasters, including the Northeast Groundfish fishery, maintains that the disaster funds will provide “both immediate relief and targeted investments to ensure our fleet becomes more sustainable in the future.”

Patrick also advanced several distribution strategies, including a “direct subsidy program to fishermen and fishing businesses to provide temporary relief and deal with immediate changes in fishery management” and “support crew and family services.”

The governor also endorsed the concept of loan assistance programs using a long-term, revolving loan fund and stated the need for both shoreside infrastructure support and the implementation of plans to bring more reason and flexibility to fishery management, while helping ensure future stability for the embattled industry.

“I share your belief that this fishery disaster funding should be used to not only begin to remedy the economic harm caused by the fisheries disaster, but also better position our fishery to weather this ongoing resource disaster,” Patrick wrote to Pritzker. 

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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