National Fisherman


ALEXANDRIA, Va.— Amid warnings that slashing the striped bass catch by a third next year could devastate Chesapeake Bay commercial fishermen, Atlantic states regulators agreed Tuesday to consider reducing the catch more gradually over three years.
 
Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission made so many other changes to a proposal for protecting Maryland's state fish from a troubling decline that they could not finish reviewing it until Wednesday — and likely put off taking final action by three months, until fall.
 
The interstate commission had agreed to act after scientists warned that the highly prized migratory fish had slipped in the past several years to the verge of being overfished. The group agreed that fishing pressure needed to be reduced so more spawning females could survive and rebuild the population
 
Striped bass, also known locally as rockfish, roam from North Carolina to New England, but the bay is a major spawning and nursery ground. They are a valuable commercial catch, worth about $7 million annually in Maryland, but also much sought by thousands of sport fishermen in the bay and along the coast.
 
Read the full story at the 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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