National Fisherman


A story in last week's Chronicle highlighted a depressing truth about Galveston Bay ("Oil spills occur nearly daily," Page A1, April 7). The bay has experienced an average of 285 oil spills a year since 1998, according to Houston Advanced Research Center. These dismal numbers make us wonder how it continues to be the most productive and commercially valuable bay and estuary system in Texas. Part of the answer lies in nature's defenses to pollution. No surprise that these defenses are under stress.
 
In the past 60 years, more than 35,000 coastal marshes have disappeared for many reasons including subsidence. West Bay has lost nearly 90 percent of its underwater sea grasses during that same period.
 
These marshes and grasses are skilled at absorbing and trapping pollutants before they reach estuaries and fragile waterways. But it is the bay's most versatile natural defense, the oyster, that we want to focus on.
 
Read the full story at Houston Chronicle>>

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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