National Fisherman


The New England Fishery Management Council takes a different position from the one expressed in the July 1 editorial (“Frightening waste of fish”), as well as those reported in recent publications about wasteful fisheries bycatch and the related costs to fishermen and society.
 
The authors of those reports, staff from the international environmental advocacy organization Oceana, addressed important topics that all fisheries managers face. But there are numerous errors and inaccuracies in the Oceana report — so many that the eight regional fishery management councils, established by federal statute in 1976, collectively put together remarks that discuss the shortcomings of Oceana’s publication. The letter is posted on the New England Council’s website at FMCs letter to Oceana.
 
It may be helpful for readers to know that the U.S. fishery councils are charged by law to “prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, facilitate long-term protection of essential fish habitats and to realize the full potential of the nation’s fishery resources.” The councils are also charged with minimizing bycatch.
 
While no one disputes that problems remain in our fisheries, Oceana grossly misleads the public by lumping U.S. problems in the same report with global bycatch issues. Additionally, the fishery councils, after comparing the bycatch report’s statements with core reference documents developed with the support of the federal fishery science centers, raised their serious concerns directly to Oceana about substantial errors, omissions and organizational approaches that are problematic throughout the publication.
 
Read the full story at the Providence Journal>>
 
Want to read more about Oceana? Click here...
 

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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