National Fisherman


Five Massachusetts legislators are standing up to a recent decision to block further temporary steps to circumvent extreme cuts in groundfishing quotas for 2013.

As it stands, catch limits on Gulf of Maine cod could be slashed by between 76.8 and 82.6 per cent starting on 1 May, and the haddock quota would also be dramatically cut.

Democratic Senators John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren and Democratic Representatives John Tierney, Edward Markey and William Keating wrote a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Administrator John Bullard about his decision late last week, claiming that unlike what he stated, the Magnuson-Stevens Act actually does allow for more than a year of interim relief, and that the economic disaster declaration in the Northeast fishery by the Commerce secretary in September 2012 makes taking action a priority.

"I don't foresee that we're going to change our decision and, even if we did, it doesn't change the biology," Bullard responded, The Standard-Times reports.

"Interim measures don't create any fish. They don't change the situation that we're looking at -- a depleted fish stock -- and the measures we're going to have to take to rebuild those stocks," he continued.

In the letter, the legislators asked that Bullard "immediately provide a plan detailing actions you will take to mitigate the adverse economic impacts of these harvest reductions."

Read the full story at FIS>>

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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