National Fisherman

According to the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA), the primary legislation governing U.S. fisheries, regional fishery management councils must develop a rebuilding plan for every overfished fishery, and must “specify a time period for rebuilding ... that shall be as short as possible ... and not exceed 10 years.” In other words, if a species of fish is deemed overfished, a plan must be implemented to rebuild the fishery within 10 years.
 
While this may seem reasonable to the casual observer, nothing could be further from the truth. No scientific analysis at all was involved in choosing a period of 10 years; the requirement was an arbitrary political decision. In fact, according to the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council, there are no scientific grounds for justifying any length of time as a standard for a fish stock rebuilding time.
 
Factors contributing to this conclusion by the NRC are numerous. Ecological and environmental conditions weigh into the skepticism, along with uncertainties surrounding fish population projections. Of particular concern is the very basis for rebuilding itself.
 
To require fish stocks to rebuild within a fixed timeframe of 10 years, while the target they must reach is itself unfixed, not to mention uncertain, is unrealistic. In plain language, the MSA as it is written today mandates that stock projections hit a moving target that cannot be defined within a defined period.
 
Read the full story at Providence Journal>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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