National Fisherman


Federal officials on Tuesday announced that they would recommend for the first time that women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and young children eat a minimum of two servings of low-mercury seafood every week for their health.
 
The recommendations represent a significant shift for the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, whose previous seafood advisory in 2004 set only an upper limit on the amount of fish that these groups should eat.
 
The proposed advisory, which will enter a public commenting period, recommends a weekly limit of 12 ounces — or about three servings — of low-mercury seafood like salmon, shrimp, cod, tilapia and light canned tuna for the women. But unlike the last advisory, it now encourages a minimum of two servings, or about eight ounces, which was prompted by an F.D.A. analysis that found that one in five pregnant women in the United States ate little or no fish at all.
 
Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the F.D.A.’s acting chief scientist, said the agency was concerned that pregnant and nursing women were missing out on the benefits of eating fish. He cited studies showing that children born to women who consume fish have higher I.Q.s and better cognitive development than children born to women who do not.
 
“A large percentage of women are simply not eating enough fish, and as a result they are not getting the developmental and health benefits that fish can provide,” he said. “Studies very consistently demonstrate that among women who consumed more fish during pregnancy — or at least the amounts we’re currently recommending — that there were improvements in children.”
 
Read the full story at the New York Times>>

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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