National Fisherman


The decaying carcasses of 65 sharks were found by the Coast Guard in an abandoned, mile-long gill net, adrift in the Gulf of Mexico off the south Texas coast. The agency said Tuesday it suspects that Mexican poachers illegally fishing in U.S. waters in a lancha, or small boat, left the net behind.
 
"Illegal drift gill nets with very small mesh are referred to as the 'wall of death,'" said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Brand, living marine resources officer for the New Orleans-based 8th Coast Guard District. "These nets are so effective at catching and killing fish that their use is illegal in both federal and state waters in the Gulf of Mexico and highly regulated by fishing management."
 
A Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon airplane spotted the net Monday about 2 p.m. while on a routine patrol about 20 miles off South Padre Island and 37 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico maritime border, the agency said. The Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi then diverted its 87-foot coastal patrol cutter Amberjack to retrieve the net. The crew found the 65 "badly decomposed" sharks, the agency said.
 
Read the full story at Times-Picayune>>

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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