National Fisherman

The commercial fishing industry won two big battles at the bruising New England Fishery Management Council meetings this week, the first on habitat and the final on the council’s vote to seek emergency measures to suspend the bulk of at-sea monitoring of groundfish boats for the remainder of the 2015 fishing season.

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As the sun rises over Honolulu, commercial fishermen have already unloaded their catches and docked their boats for the day. The fish are lined up on pallets, packed in ice and displayed for buyers to inspect.

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The Alaska Seafood Processors Association has announced it is allowing a collective of major Alaska salmon processors applying to join the certificate it holds with the Marine Stewardship Council, but they will have to cough up 3 percent of the wholesale price for this year’s product.

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Hawaii residents have until 6 p.m. Friday to submit comments on a controversial proposal to expand areas under federal protection and strengthen rules aimed at protecting humpback whales and other marine life.

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EASTERN SHORE - From far away, it might not look like much. But if you take a closer look, even just below the surface, you'll notice a much different story. Barges anchored out in the distance in Harris Creek are part of a years long project to make a change in the Chesapeake, one oyster at a time.

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FAIRBANKS — Not all of us have time to drive to Chitina for the weekend in hopes of catching salmon to fill our freezer. There is, however, another way to make sure fresh salmon is on hand.

For the first time, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council is expanding its Catch of the Season program to Fairbanks.

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The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest needs to come in at projection for 2015, or declining sockeye prices could squeeze fishermen throughout the region.

The industry has pressure to catch as much as it can. Volume will have to compensate for sinking salmon prices due to the closure of the Russian markets, the strength of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of key export markets like Japan, high volumes of foreign farmed salmon from Norway, and leftover salmon from 2014 still crowding shelves.

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Meleenu Charoensuk was forced onto a boat and told it was a 3-month work trial, but it was 8 years before he could return home. CNN's Saima Mohsin was there for his family's reunion in Bangkok.

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Fishing communities across Bristol Bay are pulsing with action these days as armies of fisherman work to ready their vessels for the extra-large return of salmon this year.

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Seafood employs more people in Southcentral than mining in the entire state, pays out more in Anchorage than construction, and has enough management and logistics infrastructure in Anchorage to rival that of Seattle, according to a new report.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

The National Marine Educators Association has partnered with NOAA this year to offer all conference attendees an educational session on how free NOAA data can add functionality to navigation systems and maritime apps.

Session topics include nautical charts, tides and currents, seafloor data, buoy networking and weather, among others.

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NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

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