National Fisherman


It is, as our federal lawmakers all noted, good news to learn that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries service will cover the cost of the on-board monitors who now regularly keep tabs on the catches hauled in by fishermen by joining them on their trips.
 
But while all went out of their way to hail NOAA’s decision over the weekend, let’s not forget that to force these costs upon Gloucester and other Northeast fishermen — as the agency had, at one point threatened — would have amounted to tossing a downright obscene unfunded mandate onto the backs of an industry already mired for well over a year in a recognized “economic disaster” that is, in large part, of NOAA’s own making.
 
And if NOAA officials are seeing this as a good-will offering that might calm other disputes on the eve of today’s February meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council, they’re sadly mistaken.
 
The truth is, NOAA officials should now also keep their eyes and ears open to considering scientific data that clearly justifies the opening of previously closed areas for the new fishing year to begin May 1. And neither NOAA, the council nor our federal lawmakers should lose sight of the need to reform the Magnuson-Stevens Act as that moves toward potential reauthorization as well.
 
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily 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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