National Fisherman


Four years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill released more than 200 million gallons of crude into the water, a leading environmental organization says the migratory and reproductive cycles of area wildlife have been severely altered and at least one species of sea turtles is close to extinction.
 
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) report, issued Tuesday, focused on 14 water, air, and land species located in the northern Gulf and affected by the oil spill, using data from independent scientists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
 
“Four years later, wildlife in the Gulf are still feeling the impacts of the spill,” Doug Inkley, senior scientist for the NWF, told reporters in a teleconference Tuesday. “The science is telling us that this is not over.”
 
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill occurred after an explosion at an oil rig on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people. The spill is among the worst environmental disasters in American history, sending crude gushing into the Gulf’s delicate ecosystem of marshes, streams, and beaches.
 
Evidence early on indicated that wildlife was slicked with oil, but scientists say the most profound environmental damage can only be tracked over years. They use the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska as an example: Twenty-five years later, scientists say, some species have not yet fully recovered.
 
Read the full story at the Christian Science Monitor>>

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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