National Fisherman


APALACHICOLA | Apalachicola Bay and Florida's oyster industry are going to get some financial assistance from the federal government.
 
State and federal elected officials said Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Commerce has approved $6.3 million in disaster assistance funding.
 
Gov. Rick Scott said the money can be used to help the restoration of Apalachicola Bay and assist affected oystermen.
 
Last year, federal officials declared a fishery disaster for oystermen in the Gulf Coast. The collapse of the oyster industry followed a drought that reduced freshwater into the bay.
 
The state's agriculture agency found the 2012 oyster harvest to be the lowest in two decades, dropping from 430 to 64 oysters per square meter. The historically low harvest affected an estimated 2,500 bay jobs.
 
Before production collapsed, the bay supplied 90 percent of the state's oysters and 10 percent across the country.
 
Read the full story at Florida Times-Union>>

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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