National Fisherman


Fisheries science and policy continue to evolve and appear to be moving in a direction that could benefit fishermen, but NOAA's efforts on the third leg of fisheries administration — enforcement — continue to be a cause for concern.

Enforcement changes were implemented after Inspector General Todd Zinser's report on whether different regions were being punished differently under NOAA, and on whether administration of the Asset Forfeiture Fund was appropriate, but the pace of the agency's attempt to make good on inappropriate enforcement is holding back greater progress.

The work of Special Master Charles B. Swartwood III to root out cases of improper enforcement came out of the inspector general's report. Payments were made after Swartwood's first report, and an appeals window was opened in March 2011 for those who needed it.

Swartwood wrote to the secretary last February — at the time, John Bryson — to tell him that there were 66 cases submitted by the special master to NOAA for responses. He wrote that his final report would be ready in less than two months, with all but five of the cases having already been returned to Swartwood.

See the full story in the New Bedford Standard-Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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