National Fisherman

It’s been nearly nine years now since NOAA enforcement agents, carrying out an unauthorized entry and raid into the then-Gloucester Seafood Display Auction, openly bullied workers and boasted that they were “accountable to no one.”
 
That 2005 scene, documented through testimony and essentially backed in an Inspector General’s 2010 report that found widespread uses of excessive force and penalties against Northeast fishermen, became something of a rallying cry for the fishing industry and its supporters. And it has never been forgotten, even as the federal government handed out reparations to fishermen and other businesses harmed by NOAA’s thuggish enforcement actions.
 
But, in a ruling last week, a federal judge delivered a troubling message to the industry regarding those NOAA agents’ claim that their agency can, in essence, do whatever it wants. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns basically confirmed it’s true.
 
For all the legalese contained in a 33-page ruling dismissing the state’s lawsuit targeting NOAA’s science and regulatory policies, the bottom line is that the agency has no obligation to seek out better practices.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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