Written by Jen Finn
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — State prosecutors are disputing religious protection claims by Alaska Native fishermen cited for illegal fishing who say bans on their subsistence lifestyle violate their spiritual freedoms.
The fishermen "raised an issue without adequately briefing it," the state said in a court filing this week.
Prosecutors were responding to a motion seeking to consolidate the April trials of 21 fishermen to allow two specialists to testify as pro bono experts on Yup'ik Eskimo culture and spiritual matters.
The fishermen were among dozens of Alaska Natives cited last year during a weak king salmon run.
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>
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.Read more...