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>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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