National Fisherman


Dogfish, a voracious little shark that hunts in packs and fills its belly with anything it finds, now has so little value in the global marketplace that many fishermen who net them just throw them overboard.
 
And here’s the problem: Scientists say there are huge and growing numbers of dogfish in the Gulf of Maine competing for the same food as more commercially valuable species, such as cod and haddock.
 
“Their numbers are enormous,” said James Sulikowski, a biologist at the University of New England who has studied the species for years. “Dogfish have to eat. If they are strong and increasing in population, they will eat a lot of stuff. That stuff is what other species feed on as well.”
 
He said there are an estimated 230,000 metric tons of spawning dogfish – females of reproductive age – in the Gulf of Maine, compared with only 10,000 metric tons of spawning cod. That’s a 23-to-1 ratio.
 
Dogfish clog up fishing nets and damage gear, and fishermen are jabbed and poked by their teeth and pointy spines as they throw them back into the sea, said Rob Odlin, a Scarborough fisherman.
 
“We hate them with a passion,” he said. “We can’t sell them and they are everywhere.”
 
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>

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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