National Fisherman


FRISCO — Gillnet fishing in Mexico and coastal development in Florida is driving loggerhead sea turtles to the brink of extinction, according to conservation groups, who filed a lawsuit this week to try and get better protection for the turtles's critical habitat.

The groups acknowledge that conservation efforts in Florida have helped populations recover, but insist that the overall long-term threats require greater protection. The number of loggerhead sea turtles nesting along Florida beaches has grown in recent years, but these numbers have varied significantly over the past two decades.

North Pacific loggerheads, which nest in Japan and cross the Pacific to feed along the coasts of Southern California and Mexico, have declined by at least 80 percent over the past decade and were recently reclassified from threatened to endangered. It has been estimated that more than 1,000 loggerheads die each year as a result of gillnet fishing in Mexico, with more than 400 washing ashore dead last summer.

Read the full story at 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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