Written by Leslie Taylor
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a source of pride, ire and debate in coastal communities the world over.
Later this year, NOAA fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council will make an important decision about MPAs in New England. It has been 16 years since NOAA and the council established fisheries habitat protection areas in our region as required by federal law. After ten years of research, planning and negotiation, decisions will be made this fall about the future of these areas.
A public comment period will open this fall to inform decisions about whether current MPAs will stay or go, and whether new ones will be established.
So, are MPAs working? Could they be improved? What have we learned by studying the environment and organisms inside and outside our local MPAs? Or MPAs around the world?
Long story short, it is complicated.
Read the full story at Working Waterfront>>
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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...