Written by Leslie Taylor
Federal fishing regulators are being pushed by a bipartisan lobby to reconsider closing Massachusetts Bay to lobstering from January to May, a move that would affect an area extending from Cape Ann’s southern coastline to Cape Cod’s northern shores.
The restrictions, which also apply to Cape Cod Bay, would close the bays to protect right and humpback whales.
The issue is just the latest point of friction between Massachusetts political leaders and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose regulations and scientific data on groundfish, including cod, have long been in dispute and blamed by many for triggering the need for an economic disaster declaration and some $33 million in federal disaster aid for the Northeast.
The lawmakers — including Senate President Therese Murray, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, and state Reps. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, D-Gloucester, and Brad Hill, the Ipswich Republican whose district includes Manchester — argue that the lobstering rule is based on bad science and will hurt the Bay State lobster industry.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker on Friday joined the bipartisan effort.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Times>>
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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.Read more...