National Fisherman

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard has announced a suite of measures designed to give groundfishermen options as they continue to grapple with reductions in limits on their preferred target species.

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For four frustrating months in 2007, Mark Wiegardt and his wife, Sue Cudd, witnessed something unsettling at their Oregon oyster hatchery: tank bottoms littered with dead baby oysters. Usually, the larvae are grown until they're three weeks old and a quarter of a millimeter in size -- 10 million bunched together are roughly the size of a tennis ball. Then they are shipped to 50-some growers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. But that summer, the oysters died before they were ready to ship. Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery struggled to fill a third of its orders.

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The Commerce Department Inspector General's annual report for 2012 spotlights a "growth of complaints" made via the agency's hotline "related to NOAA," mostly involving "mismanagement or minor misconduct," and implies clearly that NOAA officials are showing insufficient interest in resolving these problems.

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Gulf of Mexico oysters consumed little, if any of the crude oil from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill that spewed nearly half a million tons of crude oil into Gulf waters, according to a recent scientific paper. A study last year by University of New Orleans oyster biologist Thomas Soniat similarly found that oysters -- at known oil-exposed sites in Louisiana -- showed no contamination or apparent biological signs of exposure six months after the 2010 spill.

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PORTLAND — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted late last week to ban the use of gillnets to catch fish on the main stem of the Columbia River, relegating the primary commercial-fishing tool to side channels and tributaries.

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The former Stinson cannery in Gouldsboro has become a symbol of economic frustration for many on the Schoodic Peninsula. After the last remaining sardine factory in the United States closed in 2010, it was bought by the Live Lobster Company and converted to a lobster processing facility with the backing of some USD 400,000 in public funds. A little over a year after the plant reopened, the facility was again shuttered when after Live Lobster defaulted on its loans from TD Bank. Some 70 local residents lost their jobs with the closure.

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Fisheries science and policy continue to evolve and appear to be moving in a direction that could benefit fishermen, but NOAA's efforts on the third leg of fisheries administration — enforcement — continue to be a cause for concern.

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More than a hundred crab fishing boats went on strike and stayed in harbor Wednesday in a dispute over prices that has caused a shortage of Dungeness crab in the Bay Area.

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Every year since February of 2010, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has held one of its statewide meetings for Apalachicola, with commissioners each year raving about the fishing paradise found in Tallahassee’s backyard.

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Halibut catches could be cut by 33 percent next year if proposed numbers get the nod by the International Pacific Halibut Commission next month. That would mean a coast-wide harvest of just 22.7 million pounds for fisheries in California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Alaska’s share of the halibut catch would be 17.4 million pounds, down from about 25 million this year.

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Page 224 of 232

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14

In this episode:

Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest

National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.

Inside the Industry

More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.

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PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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