National Fisherman


SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal fisheries managers and biologists continue to grapple with sea turtle conservation — specifically with preventing the bycatch of turtles in commercial fishery operations.

The highly touted turtle excluder devices may not be as effective as hoped in certain types of fishing operations, NOAA biologists said as they announced that they are withdrawing a proposed rule to require turtle excluder devices (TEDs) for skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing-net trawls in the southeast shrimp fisheries.

NOAA observers collected data that showed the devices may not prevent small sea turtles from being caught in nets as previous data suggested. The proposed rule would have affected 2,600 fishermen, and had not yet taken effect.

TEDs are very effective at allowing turtles to escape from otter trawl nets operating offshore, but the device may need to be modified to work effectively for the inshore trawl fisheries. Typically, skimmer trawls fish in shallow areas where they tend to encounter smaller, young turtles, while otter trawls fish in both shallow and deeper waters so on average they tend to encounter larger turtles.

Read the full story at the Summit County Citizens Voice>>

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.

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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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