National Fisherman


While fishing industry group and federal lawmakers have sought to ease dire new catch limits seen as threatening Gloucester's and New England's groundfishery, a leader of at least one prominent environmental group says the limit cuts of up to 77 percent "did not go far enough."

Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation Massachusetts, wrote in the foundation's online newsletter, reporting the New England Fishery Management Council's January approval of new limits that would cut the maximum landings of Gulf of Main cod by 77 percent for both the new fishing year that begins May 1, and for 2014. The regional council, at the same session, also cut the Georges Bank cod allowable catch by 61 percent for both this year and next.

In his report, Shelley wrote that "recent assessments showed stocks at the lowest levels and declining rapidly. The fish just aren't there anymore."

"However, this cut to cod quota did not go far enough," Shelley wrote. "The council implemented the least aggressive cuts allowable by law, and they pushed the limits of scientific advice.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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.

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...
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