Written by Jen Finn
At face value, a new bill that would free up Massachusetts lobster dealers and others to sell lucrative tails and other lobster parts to in-state restaurants only makes sense, especially since they were already free to sell for out-of-state use.
Indeed, the idea that national restaurant chains such as Red Lobster could not sell Massachusetts-landed lobster tails at their restaurants in the Bay State may seem absurd — especially given that meant they had to import those spiny lobster tails from places such as the Gulf of Mexico, South Africa and even Australia, theoretically cutting off the market to local lobstermen and wholesalers.
But before the state Legislature rushes into a measure that has all the best economic intentions, it's also important to make certain that there are protections aimed at addressing the chief reason for this limitation in the first place. If — or more likely when — lawmakers open the domestic Massachusetts lobster tail market, they must be certain they're not also opening new avenues to poachers who might try to bring the tails of egg-bearing or short lobsters to market as well in a move that could have dire impacts on the overall health of lobster stocks down the road.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>
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...