National Fisherman


What a difference a year makes for the halibut bycatch controversy in the Bering Sea at the December meetings of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage. The flatfish factory trawlers, vilified for much of this year, reported vigorous and voluntary efforts at halibut conservation, and even received praise from the Pribilofs. Their zeal was prompted by what might be termed resolution number two-by-four of the fish council last summer, which slashed halibut bycatch by 25 percent.

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A federal judge has ruled that longline fishermen in Hawaii may continue catching more bigeye tuna, or ahi, than the maximum set by international regulators.

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PORTLAND, MAINE — What happens when a fisherman tosses a fish back overboard?

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Catches of pollock, cod, flounders and other groundfish accounted for 84 percent of Alaska’s harvest poundage last year.

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SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Whether you blame it on climate change, a misalignment of the stars or Donald Trump, the weather so far in December has been unusually fair and that has some Maine lobster dealers sweating.

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Michael Chernow doesn’t want people to step inside Seamore’s, his fish-fixated restaurant on the rim of Little Italy, worrying that they’re about to get a heap of science homework dumped onto the table.

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Cod have been disappearing from the waters between Massachusetts and Maine, and shrimp populations are so depleted that the commercial shrimp season in the Gulf of Maine has been cancelled for the last three years.

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Washington’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open in coastal waters Jan. 4 after a month-long delay caused by high levels of domoic acid, which can cause illness in humans, state shellfish managers announced Monday.

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The waters off Hancock and Washington County have been very productive for lobster fishermen in the last few years. And when business is good, more people want in.

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Most areas in Southeast closed to commercial fall fishing for Dungeness crab on Nov. 30.

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Page 17 of 407

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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