National Fisherman


DANVERS — The New England Fisheries Management Council expects to move to reduce the annual catch limit for Gulf of Maine cod in 2015 if an impending peer review process shows the dire conclusions of recently completed, if unscheduled, NOAA stock assessment are accurate.
 
“We are operating under the assumption that we will need to modify the ACL for 2015,” council Executive Director Tom Nies told members of the NEFMC’s groundfish committee on Monday as the council and industry stakeholders continue to absorb the deflating preliminary results of the study that quickly has become the source of controversy.
 
Late last Friday afternoon, NOAA’s Northeast Fishery Science Center revealed it had conducted the unscheduled study and said the preliminary results “present a grim picture for the potential recovery of this iconic fish stock” because of alarmingly low spawning biomass levels and survey indices that project to all-time lows across the board.
 
Those preliminary results have generated concern over the overall health and future of the cod stock that is at the very center of the federally declared groundfish fishery disaster.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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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