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

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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