National Fisherman


Preliminary data from October indicates that delaying the consequence closure of the gillnet fishery did not have a negative impact on harbor porpoises.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration planned to impose a consequence closure on the gillnet fishery for October and November because fishermen failed to comply with a section of the Marine Mammal Protection Act that restricts bycatch of harbor porpoises. Gillnetters use stationary nets anchored by weights to catch groundfish such as cod and flounder, and bycatch occurs when harbor porpoises or other marine animals are inadvertently caught.

The decision to shift the closure from October to February came after the Northeast Seafood Coalition, a nonprofit representing more than 250 commercial fishing entities, submitted an industry proposal suggesting fishermen would be less affected economically and that more harbor porpoises would be protected if the consequence closure happened in February and March.

According to the NSC, gillnet fishermen are continuing to make concerted, proactive choices to minimize interactions with harbor porpoises, and the data show a low number of "takes" in October.

Read the full story at Seacoast Online

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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