National Fisherman


Those who have followed the 15-year Dolphinfish Research Program by marine biologist Don Hammond knows that dolphin, also known as mahi mahi, have incredible growth rates.

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The annual catch limits for Gulf of Maine cod will increase slightly in 2016, while the quota for haddock will more than double if recommendations passed this week by the New England Fishery Management Council are approved by NOAA Fisheries.

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What many Americans consider to be a cute, back-floating mammal is a pest, even a thief, to some Southeast Alaskan fishermen.

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A Wellfleet man had his state commercial shellfishing license suspended and was charged with 45 violations of state shellfishing regulations after he allegedly was caught selling oysters to at least two Outer Cape restaurants without having a wholesale license.

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Fishing managers on Wednesday recommended a shift in the amount of fish New England’s beleaguered cod fishing businesses should be allowed to catch for the next few years, which would reduce the limit for some fishermen.

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By now, you may have seen November’s big biotech news: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the AquAdvantage salmon — a genetically-modified Atlantic salmon that contains growth-promoting genes from Pacific chinook and an eel-like fish called the ocean pout. It’s the first time a GM animal has ever been approved for human consumption, and it should hit grocery shelves in around two years. Cue the panic!

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In Interior Alaska, hundreds of miles from the ocean, it’s a safe bet most people aren’t concerned about pirates. But as a state, pirates — specifically pirate fishing vessels — are a source of great consternation. Each year, billions of dollars in illegally harvested fish appears on world markets, causing serious financial harm to places like Alaska, where fishing is strictly regulated and commercial operators play by the rules or face strong fines, sanctions and even potential jail time depending on the nature of their offenses. A new bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last month will bring international focus to the issue of pirate fishing — and doing the lifting in Congress was Alaska’s delegation.

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Last week, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) and Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL) wrote to Dr. Roy Crabtree, Regional Administrator of NOAA’s Southeast Regional Office, requesting the Agency explain its decision to close the commercial and recreational red snapper fisheries for 2015.

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This past week after an almost 20-year investigation, the FDA approved Aqua Bounty Technology’s application for genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon. Why it took twenty years is a product of the politics involved and had little or nothing to do with the safety or quality of the fish.

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The latest Cook Inlet salmon war is brewing not over allocation but location -- the setting for an Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting scheduled for February 2017.

The board is expected to pick the venue for the Upper Cook Inlet finfish meeting next Tuesday during a meeting underway now in Anchorage.

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Page 74 of 457

Inside the Industry

Fishermen throughout the Gulf of Mexico are praising Louisiana officials for a series of strong decisions last week that have broken the deadlock of red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico.

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According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Seaweed Festival has been canceled this year due to a rift between the event’s organizers and seaweed harvesters.

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