National Fisherman


WASHINGTON – When commercial fishing vessels unload their hauls on deck, crews usually gut their catch and put it on ice for the trip back to shore.

Then they do something that could land them in trouble under a 6-year-old law: They hose down the decks, sending the bloody mix of guts and scales into the water.

The Clean Boating Act of 2008 requires vessels to test deck-water runoff for contaminants. They also must sample seawater that is circulated into live wells for crabs and lobsters and then discharged back into the ocean, gulf or bay.

At least on paper.

The regulation isn't enforced because lawmakers have approved temporary exemptions sparing commercial fishermen from having to comply with a rule that many call onerous and expensive. The current exemption ends in December, and the industry is concerned congressional malaise and partisanship could stall legislation to extend it.

That would leave commercial operators on the hook for an expensive and time-consuming sampling regimen that they say could drive them out of business and reduce the fish available at local markets and restaurants.

Read the full story at Clarion-Ledger>>

Want to read more about the Incidental Discharge Act? Click here...

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.

Read more...
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