Written by Jen Finn
It's no secret that the vast majority of recreational anglers and charter boat captains in the southeast United States believe the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) lives off bad data, and as a result, anglers are forced to deal with shortened and closed seasons.
The NMFS is a department in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that handles the management of the fisheries.
Earlier this week, senators from the states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a review of how the Department of Commerce conducts stock assessments in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic.
The stock assessments conducted by the NMFS are critical in maintaining the vitality of the fisheries, the fishing communities and related industries in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Ocean.
"Stock assessments are the foundation of sound fishery management," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in a recent press release on his website. "It is vital that, as we work to preserve the waters and resources surrounding Florida and other states, we base our management decisions on sound science. The report we've requested today will shed light on the decision-making process within the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and will help us to determine the best path forward so that we can ensure the economic livelihood of the fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic and the industries that depend on them."
Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal>>
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...