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Mr. Wallis said there were a number of factors that entered into his decision to close the Maple Avenue business. He said sales had been dwindling for years, a conditioned that was worsened by government fishing regulations, which drove up the cost of locally-caught seafood.
Sharp restrictions on catching yellowtail flounder in the coming year will cause heavy economic damage to the fishing ports of the Northeast, say those affected. The Commerce Department shocked the industry this week by announcing that the allocation of yellowtail for the year starting May 1 would be 218 metric tons. (A metric ton is about 2,200 pounds.) In the current year, the groundfish fleet working Georges Bank landed about 1,140 metric tons. Losing four-fifths of the catch will cost roughly $2 million at the dock, said Dr. Brian Rothschild of the UMass School of Marine Science and Technology.
NOAA Fisheries Service has proposed to implement these quota recommendations which will result in a 61 percent decrease in the Georges Bank yellowtail quota.
On May 1 the NOAA Fisheries will implement a 22% reduction in the allowable catch of Gulf of Maine cod. NOAA announced that fishermen will be allowed to catch up to 6,700 metric tons of Gulf of Maine cod in 2012. This 22% cut in allocation of GOM cod will have significant economic impact to the City of Gloucester, a port of 197 active commercial fishing vessels grossing $60 million in landings during the last fishing year.
A U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee has taken $119 million from President Obama's $5.1 billion request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the next fiscal year, and set it aside as requested by Sens. John Kerry for use on cooperative fisheries research, new stock assessment and other fishing issues.
With competition literally on the horizon, the National Marine Fisheries Service has pulled 80 percent of the UMass Dartmouth funding from this summer's scallop survey in what scientists say is a critical year. UMass officials and state Rep. William Straus, D-Mattapoisett, say they fear that NMFS is going to rely on an as yet untested, unproven, un-peer-reviewed technology and methodology being developed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2013 spending plan for NOAA today that includes an amendment to close the Northeast Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Gloucester and move the bulk of fisheries management, administration and law enforcement to Silver Spring, Md.
NOAA has never undertaken a stock assessment for sturgeon, regional council members were told Tuesday. The agency declared it endangered when acting on a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
And to top it off, sturgeon are a resilient lot; according to NOAA's own numbers, sturgeon's bycatch survival rate is remarkably high, at 80 percent from gillnets and 95 percent for those hauled up in trawl nets. The fact is, lawmakers simply cannot allow NOAA to set any new limits based on any supposed endangerment that cannot be documented. NOAA's science is bad enough; this is pure science fiction, and lawmakers should recognize it as nothing more.
In March, Kerry and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Kerry-Snowe Fisheries Investment and Regulatory Relief Act of 2012 (S.2184), legislation to restore funding from the Department of Commerce's Saltonstall-Kennedy fund back to fishermen and communities for whom it was originally intended. Following a series of meetings in April, Kerry wrote to Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, requesting his language to redirect these funds to assist fishermen be included in the FY2013 Appropriations bill. "I'm deeply grateful to Sen. Mikulski for making this happen, because I wasn't willing to wait for passage of my Saltonstall-Kennedy bill to achieve its intended results," said Sen. Kerry. "Using the Saltonstall-Kennedy funds for their intended purpose is a down payment on trust. Now we can start rebuilding trust by investing in fishing science that's credible and comprehensive and comes from the fishing community itself. This will help preserve our fishermen's livelihoods, their families' economic security, and help ensure our fishing industry can survive for future generations."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced it will award up to $2.5 million in grants to marine researchers working to reduce bycatch in the fishing industry.
At the request of Northeast groundfish sector vessels, NOAA is proposing to implement an exempted fishery for trawl vessels that target skates for lobster bait, without having to use a groundfish fishing day at sea. This exemption would be allowed in a portion of southern New England waters, from July through October each year. This proposed measure will provide economic benefits to commercial fishermen without posing a risk to groundfish stocks because these vessels catch very little or no groundfish.
7.8.1-2(a), 7.8.3-2(b) - This action is a technical revision to Sections 7.8.1-2(a) and 7.8.3-2(b) of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Regulations - Part VII - Minimum Sizes of Fish/Shellfish in order to include the water body Potter Pond, in South Kingstown, RI, within those waters of the state in which the harvest or possession of winter flounder is prohibited. Potter Pond had inadvertently been left out.[These regulations become effective April 12, 2012].
3.2.1 - This action CLOSES the commercial bait fishery for horseshoe crabs beginning 12:01 AM on April, 25, 2012. [This regulation becomes effective upon filing].
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has released its agenda for the 2012 Spring Meeting. The Executive Committee will meet in closed session on May 1 to discuss issues related to employment contracts and HR matters.
There will be a RI Marine Fisheries Council (RIMFC) meeting scheduled for Monday, May 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM at URI Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI.