National Fisherman


The New England Fishery Management Council at its upcoming January meeting is scheduled to consider drastic cuts in groundfish quota for the 2013 fishing year. The cuts will break the economic back of the groundfish industry and have a serious effect on the scallop industry because the scallop fleet catches groundfish stocks incidentally. As the scallop fleet is already scheduled to operate under reduced days at sea next year, reductions affecting scallop bycatch could further reduce scallop fishing.

The necessity of imposing the cuts is not clear. The council's scientific committee has had difficulties reaching consensus on the management of key stocks. The Council is faced with a dilemma. If the stocks are down and the cuts are necessary, how do we mitigate the impact of the cuts on the people who work in the fishing industry and fishing communities, and then how do we plan for the future? At the same time, if the stocks are not down and the cuts are not necessary, how do we promote stability within the fishing industry and fishing communities, and then how do we plan for the future?

To understand the council's short- and long-range plans on how to deal with its dilemma is crucial, particularly since the condition of the groundfish stocks may not be as bad as it seems.

Read the full story at Standard-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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