National Fisherman


NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard said Thursday fishermen’s testimony he’s heard that the inshore waters are teeming with yellowtail has made him concerned about proposed draconian catch limits for the species of flounder.

If the Gulf of Maine yellowtail stock is as strong as fishermen insist, the proposed cut in landings — to less than 50 percent of the 1,159 metric tons for the year ending April 30 — would make yellowtail a fish that must but could not be avoided, and thus emerge as another and unnecessary impediment to the survival of the inshore fleet, as it already faces a 77 percent cut in the allowable catch in its primary target, the iconic cod.

Yellowtail, cod, haddock, hake, and other flounders are found in close proximity, making up the Northeast multi-species groundfishery, and low allocations of prevalent stocks create the nightmare for fishermen who must stop work once they’ve come to their limit on any single stock.

While conceding that he’s heard enough to be concerned about yellowtail emerging as choke stock for the inshore fleet, however, Bullard dug in Thursday against the same argument made about Gulf of Maine Cod, which is facing a 77 percent cut in the allowable catch for the 2013 fishing year beginning May 1.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily 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.

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