Lawmakers from Maine and two other states are urging federal regulators to "exercise all authority under the law" to help the New England groundfishing fleet weather severe catch limits that many fear could decimate the industry.
In a letter sent Thursday, 13 members of Congress from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire asked acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank to help owners cover the costs of having catch monitors on vessels as mandated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All four members of Maine's delegation -- Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud -- signed the letter.
"NOAA Fisheries must seriously consider the impact of further burdening our fishermen with at-sea monitoring costs and dedicate the resources necessary to continue to cover these costs," the members wrote. "Even without the drastic reductions in catch limits, our fishermen cannot feasibly afford their expected share of at-sea monitors."
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National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.