National Fisherman


The first few weeks of blue crab season are off to a slow start, but the catch should increase this month, according to Beaufort County commercial fishermen.

However, with low supply and high demand in the Northeast, the succulent crab are fetching $100 per bushel. Near Charleston, those prices are driving more people into the business.

But that hasn't been the case in Beaufort County waters, fishermen say.

"We used to have a whole lot more crabbers than we have down here now," Bluffton Oyster Co. owner Larry Toomer said. Decades ago, "we had a dozen or more full-time crabbers. There are probably only four people with traps in the water right now from Hilton Head to Savannah."

Read the full story at The Island Packet>>

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.

Read more...

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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