National Fisherman


Florida elected officials disagree about whether a major water-resources bill that President Obama signed this week will accomplish much for the Apalachicola Bay, which is still struggling to recover after the collapse of its oyster fishery in 2012.
 
Members of the state’s congressional delegation praised the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 for funneling money to other Florida projects, from restoration of the Everglades to a deepening of the harbors at Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral.
 
“The Florida projects we were able to include were important for either the environment or the economy,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who attended the bill-signing at the White House, in a statement afterward.
 
But the water bill did not include new money for the Apalachicola Bay, which U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker declared a federal fishery disaster last fall.
 
Read the full story at the Tallahassee Democrat >>

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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