National Fisherman

On Jan. 15 the Dare County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting with representatives from the Oregon Inlet Users Association (OIUA) and others employed in the commercial fishing, charter boat and boat building industries on the Outer Banks to discuss the inlet's "state of emergency" and what can be done about the crisis.

A large contingent of watermen had gathered at the board's Jan. 7 meeting to speak during public comment, describe in detail the dimensions and urgency of the crisis and demand an emergency meeting on the issue. Several of the commissioners traveled to Raleigh on Jan. 9 to hand deliver a "Resolution Calling for Immediate Funding for the Dredging of Oregon Inlet" to leaders in the legislature.

Welcoming everyone present to the Jan. 15 meeting, Board Chairman Warren Judge emphasized, "We don't need to revisit the problem. We are well aware of the problem. What we hope to do tonight is gather input and information so that we can move forward with some new or additional strategies."

Former Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ray Sturza reviewed a draft resolution prepared by the OIUA detailing the importance of Oregon Inlet, the critical impact of the inlet's blockage on maritime industries and on the environmental well-being of the inlet itself, and the need for creation of a task force to work in "partnership" with the Dare Board of Commissioners to "establish a successful long-term approach to sand management at Oregon Inlet in order to create a safe and continuously reliable passage to and from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Oregon Inlet."

Read the full story at the Outer Banks Sentinel>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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