National Fisherman


Worried by recent declines in the numbers of Maryland's state fish, Atlantic states fisheries regulators are weighing slashing the annual striped bass catch by up to one-third next year all along the East Coast and in the Chesapeake Bay.
 
The proposal, to be aired Tuesday before the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, comes six months after a study found the striped bass population verging on being overfished and the number of spawning female fish likely to slip to unsustainable levels soon if no action is taken.
 
"We're thrilled," said Tony Friedrich, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, which has long pressed regulators to curtail the catch. "I don't know anyone who doesn't think the stock is in trouble."
 
A catch reduction of that size would hit Maryland's watermen hard, though, especially since their mainstay of crabbing appears likely to be poor again this year, based on a recent survey.
 
"It's called being regulated out of business," said Robert T. Brown Sr., president of the Maryland Watermen's Association. He contended that "there's no shortage of fish."
 
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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