National Fisherman


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Tuesday an initiative to track every fish sold in the United States — a move designed to crack down on illegal fishing, mislabeling of seafood and related problems.
 
Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading the push for new ocean conservation measures, said the measures will "ensure all seafood sold in the U.S. is both sustainable and traceable, meaning all customers will know exactly who caught it, where and when."
 
The United States plays a big role in the world's seafood market; it's the largest importer after Japan. But an estimated 20 percent to 32 percent of the wild-caught imports are illegal and unreported, according to a study published this year in the journal Marine Policy.
 
Tuesday's announcement, delivered in a taped message from the president and in person by Kerry at an "Our Ocean" conference in Washington, was well-received by a crowd representing 80 countries and several environmental organizations.
But the proposal quickly drew criticism from congressional Republicans, who contend that the administration over-regulates natural resources industries and that the president has overreached his constitutional powers.
 
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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