Tag Archives: Commerce

Florida fisheries wait for federal aid as prices take a deep dive – fisheries across the nation have experienced steep sales decline

Federal officials Wednesday defended the delay in releasing $300 million on fisheries assistance funding, including $23.4 million for Florida, saying the pandemic has set them behind in analyzing data to determine how much each fishery is due. Senators on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee urged faster action to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., noted that fisheries across the nation have experienced up to a 90 percent decline in sales.,, In May, the CARES Act allocated $300 million for fisheries assistance funding. Florida received $23,447,815, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not approved the state’s plan. >click to read< 13:03

NCLA Sues Commerce, NOAA, NMFS over Its Unlawful New at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island,,, The suit challenges the agencies’ unconstitutional and statutorily unauthorized effort to force fishing companies to pay for a new agency enforcement program. NCLA represents Relentless Inc., Huntress Inc., and their related company, Seafreeze Fleet LLC,,,  The at-sea monitor mandate for the nation’s Atlantic herring fleet violates the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, and the agencies have exceeded the bounds of their statutory authority because Congress never allowed these agencies to create or to require the industry to finance at-sea monitors or an at-sea monitoring program in the Atlantic herring fishery. more >click to read< 15:07

#Breaking: U.S. Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Protect North Atlantic Whales

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a markup on S. 2453, the Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (SAVE) Right Whales Act led by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Tom Carper (D-DE). The measure would protect the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species of whales, by establishing a grant program to promote,,, The Senate bill, S. 2453, and its House companion bill, H.R. 1568, led by U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), and John Rutherford (R-FL) is supported by Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, the Sierra Club, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, Defenders of Wildl >click to read< 20:12

Magnuson-Stevens Act – National Standards 1, 3, 7 – Proposed Revisions

nmfs_logoToday, a proposed rule to revise guidelines for National Standards 1, 3, and 7 was filed in the Federal Register. National Standards 1, 3, and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act pertain to overfishing, rebuilding overfished stocks, and achieving optimum yield. NOAA Fisheries NMFS will accept public comments through June 30, 2015, Proposed rule (as filed version).Read the rest here 16:16

Alaska’s Dan Sullivan Delighted with U.S. Senate Committee Assignments

Sullivan will serve on Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, and Environment & Public Works, and he says he can hardly pick a favorite.  “Well look, I’m pleased with all of them,” he said. “These were actually the four committees that I requested.” Audio, Read the rest here  08:31

366 days in prison and more than $105,000 in penalties – Fisherman Charles Wertz Jr. sentenced for falsifying fish records

clip_image002_001Charles Wertz Jr., who had operated the Freeport-based commercial trawler the Norseman, pleaded guilty in August to one count of wire fraud and two counts of falsification of federal records. [email protected]  18:15

We’re from the government  and we’re here to shake you downImagine a federal enforcement agency with a “slush fund” accumulated from fines that the agency personnel levied on the owners of small businesses for making administrative errors and spent by employees of that same agency with inadequate or non-existent controls. http://www.fishnet-usa.com/NOAA_OLE_GCEL%20Shakedown.htm

Funding Sought for Commercial Fishery Failures

The letter, signed by a total of 22 members of Congress, notes five fishery failures declared by the Secretary of Commerce still in need of funds. These include the disaster declared Sept. 12, 2012, for Alaska king salmon fisheries in the Yukon River, Kuskokwim River and Cook Inlet. Also cited were the Mississippi oyster and blue crab disaster, declared Sept. 12, 2012; the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery disaster in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, declared Sept. 13, 2012; Superstorm Sandy fisheries impacts, for New Jersey and New York, declared Nov. 16, 2012; and Florida oysters, due to excessive drought conditions on that state’s west coast, Aug. 12, 2013. [email protected]  17:23

Senator Murkowski Grills acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on Observer Policy

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on several ocean policy issues facing Alaskan coastal communities during a Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee hearing last week. Topics ranged from the federal fisheries observer program to Japanese tsunami debris clean up, among other things. continued – audio