National Fisherman

A year ago, the bill to provide $150 million in direct federal disaster assistance to fishermen rolled through the Senate, only to die a lingering death in the House — a casualty of the internecine and partisan bickering over the debt ceiling.

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. — One of the worst shrimp seasons in decades has Smith & Sons Seafood owner Walker "Big John" Smith Jr. fearing what will happen if his business has to suffer through another year like 2013.

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The overdue and expected arrival of some $75 million in federal aid for the Northeast groundfishery and others recognized as “economic disasters” should provide welcome relief for fishermen and related businesses that have been pushed to a collective brink of bankruptcy.

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Morris Communications is the Georgia-based media group that owns the Peninsula Clarion, Homer News, Juneau Empire, Alaska Journal of Commerce and numerous other media holdings in Alaska. In November, company chairman William Morris III announced a special 10-part series to help Alaskans “find the facts” about declining King salmon runs.

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DEAL ISLAND, Md. (AP) — Around the turn of the 20th century, the skipjack was the vessel of choice for oystermen who made their living on the Chesapeake Bay. However, today only a handful of the sailboats are used for commercial dredging during Maryland's oyster season, which runs November through March.

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The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the $1 trillion Appropriations Bill containing $75 million in disaster aid to fishermen and fishing communities yesterday afternoon, sending the measure along to the Senate, where it is expected to pass in a vote that could come as soon as today.
 

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Long Island lobstermen still reeling from a historic closure of Long Island Sound last fall won a victory Wednesday after a state committee declined to put new restrictions on the harvest of a vital alternative species known as whelk.
 

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The U.S. West Coast’s native Olympia oysters face a greater threat from invasive predatory snails as climate change raises the acidity of oceans, research by the University of California, Davis found.
 

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OCEAN CITY — The holy grail of fishing shows is coming back to the beach this weekend.
 
The 40th annual East Coast Fisherman’s & Aquaculture Trade Expo returns to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center from Friday-Sunday, Jan. 17-19.
 

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The Alaska Legislature's two Finance Subcommittees on the Department of Fish and Game held a public hearing in downtown Anchorage Tuesday to discuss a lawsuit underway in which a Southcentral driftnetters association is seeking federal oversight of Cook Inlet fisheries.
 

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15

In this episode:

Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever

Inside the Industry

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.

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NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

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