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

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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