National Fisherman

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking steps to cut back on the harvesting of seafood to address what it claims is a dire need to preserve a marine species.
Yet, state lawmakers and those within the seafood industry say the dramatic move is unnecessary, that it is being based on “bad science” and that it will cripple the industry — doing perhaps irreparable harm to fishing communities in the process.
That, of course, has been the standing argument and NOAA procedure at the core of the federally recognized “economic disaster” within the Northeast groundfishery — with the federal government now shelling out a total of $75 million in disaster aid, including direct aid to Gloucester and other cod and groundfishermen who are still yet to receive a dime of it.
But the latest declaration by NOAA and its Division of Marine Fisheries isn’t connected to groundfishing. This time, NMFS has imposed a new rule designed to protect right and humpback whales — a mandate that prohibits lobster traps in an area stretching from Cape Cod Bay to Boston between Jan. 1 and April 30). And that is just one more recipe for disaster for the Massachusetts and New England seafood economy.
Read the full story at Newburyport News>>

Want to read more about Massachusetts lobstering? Click here

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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