National Fisherman


On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.
 
It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.
 
Starting at the fishing harbor on Orca Inlet, she passes a row of canneries. Commercial fishing is the lifeblood of this town of 2,200.
 
O'Leary and her late husband were preparing for the spring herring season in March 1989, when the giant oil tanker Exxon Valdez took a very wrong turn.
 
The ship ran aground on Bligh Reef in the early morning hours of March 24, leaking oil into the sound's frigid waters. When the ship's captain, Joseph Hazelwood, made a call to the Coast Guard just after midnight, he said the ship was "evidently leaking some oil."
 
The ruptured tanker subsequently oozed 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound.
 
"It just felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach," says O'Leary. "This was one of those turning points in life, where you measure things before and after."
 
O'Leary hasn't fished since.
 
Read the full story at Alaska Public Media>>

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...
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