National Fisherman


Federal regulators’ rejection of a plea from herring fishermen Thursday could lead to a shortage of lobster bait this fall, critics of the decision said.
 
The New England Fishery Management Council, meeting in Portland, voted 10-0 against an emergency request to increase the amount of haddock that herring fishermen can catch incidentally on Georges Bank.
 
The regulators said haddock is too valuable to New England’s struggling groundfishermen to allow herring trawlers to catch more than the 179 metric tons they will be allowed in the year from May 1 to April 30, 2015.
 
“That’s their lifeboat,” said Thomas Dempsey, a council member from Massachusetts.
 
Herring fishermen have already caught about 5 percent of their cap, and with the heavy summer fishing season ahead, representatives of the industry said most of the region’s herring fleet could be sidelined as early as September.
 
That would remove 7,700 metric tons of herring from the market in September alone, said Mary Beth Tooley, a lobbyist for the Rockland-based O’Hara Corp., which owns two herring vessels.
 
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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