National Fisherman


Maryland's depleted oyster population has more than doubled since 2010, state officials reported Wednesday, giving state scientists hope the bivalves are on track to regain a "substantial foothold" in the Chesapeake Bay after being devastated by diseases over the past 30 years.
 
An annual fall survey by the Department of Natural Resources found that the number and size of oysters dredged up from more than 250 longtime oyster bars had increased for the third straight year. The oyster "biomass index," as it's known, has reached the highest level measured since around the time the bay's bivalves began to be ravaged by two parasitic diseases.
 
State scientists credited the increase to a prolonged spell of more than 90 percent of oysters surviving the diseases, Dermo and MSX, which a little over a decade ago were killing off most bivalves. The survey found both diseases well below average, though Dermo remains widespread and is showing an uptick in intensity on some oyster bars in the southern portion of the bay.
 
Read the full story at Baltimore Sun>>

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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