National Fisherman


Two organizations that favor federal intervention to ensure that NOAA’s catch share management system for the groundfishery — now in danger of collapse due to draconian catch limits — does not drive fishermen’s quota almost solely into the hands of large-scale boats and corporations is planning a series of workshops to examine how to keep fleet diversity and many of the smaller boats and businesses afloat.

The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and the Penobscot East Resource Center are co-sponsoring the series, which includes one planned for Gloucester, at Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop, from 4-7 p.m. this Friday.

The New England Fishery Management Council has voted to develop an amendment to the catch share system, which has been in place since 2010. NOAA’s own data has shown that Gloucester’s groundfishing fleet alone has fallen from roughly 96 boats to 71 over that time, while catch share systems elsewhere have also yielded consolidation of the industry, with many smaller, independent boats unable to effectively buy or lease quota gobbled up by larger businesses that accumulate more “catch shares.”

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.

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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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