National Fisherman


Tim LaRochelle sat in the bow of a 16-foot canoe, scanning the murky river water by the light of a headlamp and a nearly full moon.
 
“There’s one,” LaRochelle said, pointing at a squiggle created near the water’s surface by a tiny, translucent immature eel – an elver. LaRochelle kept looking, but nearly a minute passed before he pointed to another squiggle.
 
His wait summed up the lackluster opening days of what could be Maine’s most scrutinized commercial fishing season in years.
 
Elver fishermen and dealers reported minuscule catches in the first week and a half of the season. The price for elvers is also dramatically lower, with dealers paying $400 to $650 per pound, down from $1,800 to $2,000 last year.
 
Veterans of the industry aren’t surprised by the small catch or the low price – even as they hope that both will rebound.
 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

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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