National Fisherman

The commercial Dungeness crab season begins Saturday, and, for the first time, Dungeness crabs open with a Good Alternative ranking from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch after being downgraded from Best Choice.

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On the heels of Monday’s abrupt emergency shutdown of cod fishing in inshore waters off Massachusetts and New Hampshire until May 1, the New England Fishery Management Council is now weighing another round of steep cuts in the allowed catch of Gulf of Maine groundfish for the rest of the year after that.

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From Sitka to Kodiak, small, independent commercial fishermen are taking an increasingly hands-on role in marketing their own fish.

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llicit fishing goes on every day at an industrial scale. But large commercial fishers are about to get a new set of overseers: conservationists—and soon the general public—armed with space-based reconnaissance of the global fleet.

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Emergency restrictions aimed at protecting plummeting cod stocks, set to go into effect Thursday in the Gulf of Maine, have some fishermen complaining that one group that routinely kills cod won’t be affected by the new rules – the region’s lobstermen.
 
The schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, the official tall ship of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, will not be traveling back to Cape Ann for her restoration. Instead, the work to return the 120-year-old, Essex-built ship to full sailing condition will be done in Maine.
 

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Cod stock news out of New England this week is eerily similar to the collapse of the northern cod stocks in the late 1980s and 1990s that gutted Canada’s East Coast coastal communities and changed the face of the fishery in this province.
 

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Atlantic bluefin tuna are one of the most valuable fish in the sea. They are prized for the high-quality sushi and sashimi produced from their flesh, and it’s not uncommon for individual fish to fetch prices of $10,000 or more. Their high value makes them hard to resist, and and overfishing had sharply reduced their numbers. In recent years, however, international cooperation has reduced fishing pressure on Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the stocks appear to be recovering.
 

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PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators shut down the commercial fishing season for northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine for a second straight year on Wednesday, citing concerns about the declining population and warmer ocean temperatures.
 

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Perhaps the scariest thing about the new "emergency measures" being imposed on Gloucester fishermen and the New England groundfishing industry is that no one seems surprised.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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