National Fisherman

The scallop fishery has become the lifeblood of the New Bedford waterfront, a bright spot in a fishing industry encumbered by onerous regulations and heavy-handed management. It has helped make New Bedford, for the 13th year in a row, the most valuable port in the nation. But, with potential cuts to the scallop catch anticipated next year, scallopers and fishing communities coast-wide face the prospect of diminished revenues and loss of stability to the scallop industry.
 
One way to prevent this is to finally allow the scallop fleet access to historic fishing grounds in Georges Bank, particularly in the Northern Edge, from which we have long been cut off. We have an opportunity to re-evaluate these closures with the Omnibus Habitat Amendment, considered on Tuesday by the New England Fishery Management Council.
 
For almost 20 years, large sections of Georges Bank have been closed to commercial fishermen and scallopers, part of a larger management effort aimed at protecting habitats and limiting overfishing. When the closures were put in place, it was thought that by keeping fishermen and scallopers out of these areas, juvenile groundfish, particularly cod, would benefit from undisturbed access to the area's gravel habitat, which was thought to be beneficial as a source of food and refuge from predator species. Unfortunately, little empirical evidence has emerged since the closures were enacted to demonstrate positive benefits have arisen from these regulations.
 
Read the full story at the Standard-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.
 
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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.

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