National Fisherman


The Pensacola Environmental Advisory Board will meet Wednesday to finalize its report on a controversial, multimillion-dollar sports fish hatchery proposed for the Pensacola bayfront.
 
The Florida Gulf Coast Marine Fisheries Hatchery and Enhancement Center would be constructed on city-owned property at Bruce Beach, using an estimated $18.8 million in fines arising from the BP oil spill.
 
The City Council authorized the mayor in 2011 to begin negotiating a lease for the facility, at the rate of $1 per year in January and asked the board to weigh the environmental aspects of the hatchery.
 
On Wednesday, the board will hear from William Patterson — a marine fisheries biologist and associate professor at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab — about the potential impacts of the project on Gulf Coast fisheries. Members also will attempt to finalize their report on the hatchery for delivery to the council later this month. Last week, board chairwoman Chasidy Hobbs presented a working paper summarizing the environmental merits and hazards of the project.
 
“There is no doubt that fisheries are declining on a global scale, including in the Pensacola Bay system,” she wrote. “However, there is little evidence that hatchery operations augment native fish populations, rather than replacing them. At best, more research is needed.”
 
Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal>>

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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