National Fisherman


With halibut and sablefish fisheries opening on Saturday, the Coast Guard is encouraging fishermen to get a free commercial fishing vessel safety exam.

The exams help ensure compliance with current regulations and those that pass receive a decal, the Coast Guard said in a release.

The rules and regulations do not yet require fishermen operating beyond three nautical miles of the territorial sea baseline to pass a Coast Guard safety exam prior to the start of the fishing season — that regulation will begin to be implemented in 2015, the release states.

Still, some vessels, including halibut individual fishing quota fishermen, are now required by the National Marine Fisheries Service to have a valid decal prior to carrying a mandatory observer aboard, according to Ken Lawrenson, the Coast Guard 17th District commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator.

Read the full story at Juneau Empire>>

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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