National Fisherman


In a major turnaround that argues for strong fisheries management, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s trusted Seafood Watch program has upgraded the status of 21 commercially important fish, including most species of Pacific rockfish in a report released Tuesday.

Overall, according to Seafood Watch, 84% of all the groundfish landings on the West Coast are now considered either “best choice” or “good alternative” – the two highest rankings. Groundfish are fish that live on or near the bottom. Previously they had been considered troubled because of overfishing and because of the ecological damage caused to the ocean floor by trawling.

“This is one of the great success stories about ecological and economic recovery of a commercially important fishery,” said Margaret Spring, vice president of conservation and science, and chief conservation officer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in a release.

“A huge part of the turnaround is reliance on science-based conservation and management practices that Congress endorsed in its 2006 update of U.S. fishery law.”

Among the species upgraded are all trawl- and long-line caught rockfish, which previously had been listed as “avoid” and flatfish such as sanddabs and Pacific soles, which were bumped from “good alternative” to “best choice.”

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times>>

Want to read more about Seafood Watch? Click here...

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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