National Fisherman


The government need not face claims that the amended New England fishery program leaves groundfish vulnerable to overfishing, a federal judge ruled.
 
Fishery management plans establish catch thresholds and "outline procedures for monitoring commercial fishing," under the oversight of the National Marine Fisheries Service, according to the Tuesday ruling.
 
In 2012, the service amended its New England fishery program with a rule that called for independent observers to monitor catch limits and the fishing of Northeast groundfish on 17 percent to 25 percent of all fishing trips.
 
Oceana challenged the rule in a federal complaint against the service, the secretary of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
It argued that the low monitoring rates were insufficient to protect groundfish from overfishing, especially since these rates in other fisheries were much higher - sometimes 100 percent.
 
Read the full story at Courthouse News Service>>

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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