National Fisherman

WASHINGTON — The old proverb, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," might apply to 2015 red snapper legislation.

Earlier this week, Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, who contends recreational fishers are being shortchanged with only 10-day red snapper fishing seasons in the Gulf, withdraw an amendment that would have transferred authority to set the seasons from a federal agency to a new consortium of five Gulf states, including Louisiana. He did so because his amendment was likely to be defeated, given opposition from leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee.

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A federal judge ruled Thursday to allow part of a case over the proposed Pebble mine project to move forward, laying the groundwork for a long legal fight over the Environmental Protection Agency’s interaction with anti-mine activists.

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For years, local lobstermen have watched from the periphery as the groundfish industry and federal regulators have waged their mighty battles over stock assessments, closed areas, slashed quotas and regulatory issues, including the presence of observers on the groundfish boats.

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The world has given a sigh of relief as the US and Switzerland have tackled corruption in FIFA – the world soccer organization where bribery and corruption have been endemic.  The FIFA scandal involved a basic pay to play: bribes for votes and contracts.

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With a partial government shutdown looming, state agencies are making plans for what services might be reduced without a budget deal by July 1. But salmon don’t care about budgets and money. The fish are coming to Alaska waters whether or not the Alaska Department of Fish & Game has its usual resources to manage them.

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The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will likely recommend some significant changes to the current version of the Magnuson Stevens Act — but not during its meeting in Sitka.

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PORTLAND, ME — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is awarding the Nature Conservancy $300,000 to implement electronic monitoring systems in the New England's fishing industry.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A series of deep cuts to the halibut bycatch allocation for the Bering Sea groundfish bottom-trawl fleet will be considered by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council this week, and the decision to recuse two members of the board could have an effect on the outcome.

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LOS ANGELES — A commercial fisherman sued the owner of the oil pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast, alleging the environmental disaster would cause decades of harm to the shore and hurt many businesses.

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In April, seafood buyers across Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska received an invitation to bid on a job that involves purchasing and then picking up surplus salmon carcasses and eggs from state-run hatcheries in Washington.

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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

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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Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

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