National Fisherman


MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — A line of cellphone cameras and digital camcorders greeted the first few dump trucks to deliver piles of sand Monday morning to a narrow and eroded stretch of Kimballs Beach on the Delaware Bay.

The event wasn't the most photogenic, but the sand was the final step in a frenetic effort to restore a portion of what Hurricane Sandy washed away so horseshoe crabs have a place to lay eggs this spring.

The prehistoric crabs provide a critical food link for migratory shorebirds, including the red knot, that use the Delaware Bay as a rest stop on their way to summer breeding grounds in the Arctic.

For the scientists and conservation advocates involved with the effort, the sand deliveries were nothing short of miraculous. The project began in late January, with regulators all but laughing at the proposal because the work needs to be complete by April, said wildlife biologist and shorebird expert Larry Niles. Project leaders needed to obtain a half dozen permits and consult not just with federal and state agencies, but get written permission from landowners, notify shellfish lessees and even wait for the grant check to clear.

The check cleared Monday, said Bill Shadel, habitat restoration program director with the American Littoral Society, which was one of the leaders of the effort. "We were all doing work not knowing if the funding would happen or, if it did, would it come in time," he said.

Niles said the speed of the effort — about six weeks from proposal to the first truckload of sand arriving — was unprecedented in his 30-year career.

Read the full story at the Press of Atlantic City>>

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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