National Fisherman


In a deal favored by conservationists, regulators and watermen, Virginia will allow blue crabs to be harvested from the Chesapeake Bay an extra two weeks this year but will require a new collection system next year that's expected to limit catches of the prized seafood.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously for the compromise package Monday, which comes as seafood interests look to take advantage of a crab resurgence in recent years and as conservationists worry about blowing such gains.

Under the terms, watermen can continue gathering crabs through Dec. 15 - just in time for the holiday season - instead of stopping next week. Officials estimate an additional 350,000 pounds of crabs will be brought to market.

Read the full story at the Virginian-Pilot>>

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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