National Fisherman

As Congress prepares to consider reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the rebuilding provision of that law has—again—become a lightning rod.
 
The rebuilding provision, which Congress incorporated into the law by Congress in the 1996 reauthorization, mandates that overfished fisheries be rebuilt to healthy levels in a time period “as short as possible… not [to] exceed 10 years except in cases where the biology of the stock of fish, other environmental conditions, or management measures under an international agreement in which the United States participates dictate otherwise” (Section 304(c)(4)).
 
There is much debate about whether the provision is flexible enough (despite the clearly stated exceptions).   And last Friday, Representative Doc Hastings introduced a bill that would severely weaken the provision.
 
Curiously little attention has been focused on the primary question: Is it working?
 
In a recently released paper, we (Kimberly Lai-Oremus, Brad Sewell and I) gathered data from every regional fishery management council and conducted the first statistical examination of this question. In this study, we asked whether the implementation of the rebuilding requirement was associated with a rebound in depleted fish populations. The analysis shows compelling evidence that it was.
 
Read the full story at the NRDC Switchboard>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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