National Fisherman


The chairman of the federal House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight has written a third letter to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco seeking executive travel records that have been withheld from Congress, asserting that “this level of recalcitrance mocks the notion of transparency.”

Chairman Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, wrote previously to Lubchenco seeking travel records on April 26 and Oct. 24. His letter of last Thursday ended with the question “I must ask myself — what is NOAA trying to hide?”

In the latest letter, which the Times obtained, Broun wrote that “by law, NOAA must comply with citizen requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days. I shouldn’t have to remind you that a congressional committee with jurisdiction over NOAA is afforded greater access than that of citizens under FOIA.”

Lubchenco’s spokeman Scott Smullen emailed the Times that “we will soon provide an answer to the congressman.”

The Commerce Department inspector general, Todd Zinser, revealed in 2010 that NOAA’s agents and litigators had improperly gone to conventions in exotic locales, covered with money drawn from excessive fines exacted from fishermen and fishing industry businesses.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

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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