National Fisherman


NEW BEDFORD — A federal district court judge has ruled that NOAA fisheries regulators played word games to explain an illegal quota system in the current fishing year.
 
Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. found that the practice of "rolling over" up to 10 percent of unused quota into the following fishing year went too far in the current fishing year, which ends this month.
 
The reason, he said, is that the added quota from the rollover brought the next year's total quota over the legal limit set by science advisers.
 
The judge wrote in his decision that NOAA tried to avoid accountability by naming the rolled over quota as something other than "annual catch limits," or ACLs.
 
The ACL added to the rollover is termed "total potential catch" by NOAA.
 
"That's right. According to the service, the statutory limits on its authority apply only when it says the magic words. Express limits set by Congress are, under the service's theory, mere verbiage, easily circumvented through clever use of a marine thesaurus," the judge wrote.
 
Read the full story at Standard-Times>>

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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