National Fisherman


Finding a ship that doesn’t want to be found is almost impossible on Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk, 600 million square miles of icy water north of Japan, and the Iskander was doing its best to remain hidden. The rusting hull of the 180-foot ship bore no name, and its transmitters had been disabled. In the right light, it might have disappeared into the low-hanging clouds that often blanket the waters off Russia’s east coast. But it didn’t.
 
According to a November 2013 incident report, the Border Guard Service of Russia—the functional equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard—first tried hailing the unidentified ship. There was a moment of static before a response from the vessel crackled over the radio: “SRTM-K Breeze.” That is not, in fact, one of the ship’s many names, which in the last five years has gone by Afeliy, Costa Rapida, Status, and, most recently, Iskander. But what is a pirate to say?
 
The conversation didn’t last. The exchange had barely ended when the Iskander’s engines cranked to full throttle, and the vessel began to pull away. When attempts to intercept it failed, the border patrol fired warning shots, pocking the water behind the ship. These went unheeded. The Iskander continued to run, the border patrol chased, and meanwhile, the crew frantically dumped its cargo of live king crab overboard. 
 
Read the full story at Bloomberg Businessweek>>

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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