Last week's announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that it would steer up to $10 million of seafood import tariff money into a fund designed to upgrade fishing fleets and provide support so fishing communities can transition to their futures was hailed as a good first step toward aiding the industry.
A year ago this week, an oversupply of soft-shell lobsters - due to early molting - had already dropped the dock prices paid to Maine fishermen to less than $2 a pound. Then, as all that cheap, excess product made its way into the Canadian Maritimes for processing, fishermen in that country watched their prices begin to drop as well, before their short lobster season had even begun. Frustrated, Canadian lobstermen spent several days blocking the shipments from entering processing plants along the Acadian Coast in New Brunswick. The protests shed new light on the supply and demand challenges facing the lobster industries in Maine and Canada. Officials on both sides of the border say expanded, more effective marketing is the key to stabilizing prices. But, in the first of a series of reports this week, Jay Field looks at how that's left Maine and Canada in the awkward position of needing to work together more closely, while also trying to outmarket each other.
Members of Congress from New England have long pushed for common sense when it comes to regulations governing commercial fishing in the coastal waters. The dwindling number of many fish stocks is a fact that cannot be ignored. But the fact that so many people in the region make their money from the sea cannot be ignored either.
The head of the NOAA-affiliated New England Fishery Management Council has told NOAA Northeast Regional administrator John Bullard than the panel stands opposed to Bullard's call for fishermen venturing into newly opened areas off Cape Cod and Nantuck to bear the full cost of NOAA-mandated on-board monitors for any such trips.
President Obama formally nominated Kathryn Sullivan to be the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday. Sullivan, a former astronaut who was the first U.S. woman to walk in space, has been acting NOAA administrator since Jane Lubchenco stepped down in February.
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National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14
In this episode:
National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14
In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.