Tag Archives: Secretary of Commerce

Catch Share Program Review for the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferrable Quota Fisheries

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is accepting proposals to conduct a Catch Share Program Review of the present and past social and economic conditions in the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog (SCOQ) fisheries which are managed using individual transferrable quotas (ITQs). Section 303A(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) includes requirements for the regular monitoring and review of the operations of catch share programs by the Council and the Secretary of Commerce. In 1977, the Council developed a fishery management plan for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries in federal waters. These fisheries were initially managed using a combination of limited entry restrictions, fishing quotas, and time limits to constrain landings and distribute fishing effort throughout the fishing year. In 1990, the Council developed an ITQ program that was implemented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. The fisheries have been operating under this program since then. Read the Request for Proposals (RFP) – Closing Date: March 31, 2017  12:21

COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Several private anglers and the Coastal Conservation Association, a group representing private anglers (collectively, CCA), appeal the district court’s summary judgment dismissal of their lawsuit, which challenged Amendment 40 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan and the Final Rule implementing that amendment. Because we find that Amendment 40 is consistent with its organic statute and was properly devised and implemented, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court. This dispute centers on the management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the complaint here 09:28

Enviro Defense Fund Applauds 9th Circuit’s Pacific whiting fishery ruling

The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld a federal program that limits the number of Pacific whiting, or hake, fishermen can catch off the Northwest Coast. Two fishing companies, Pacific Dawn and Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co., sued the Secretary of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2013, claiming the Fisheries Service unreasonably refused to consider fishing activity after 2003 and 2004 when it set new quotas in 2011 and 2013. The three-judge panel Wednesday refused to overturn U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson’s 2013 grant of summary judgment. Writing for the panel, Judge Sandra Ikuta agreed that the Fisheries Service considered more recent fishing activity when it set quotas but that it “gave greater weight to historic participation” in setting the new limits. Pacific Dawn said it was “disappointed’ with the ruling. “The decision upholds an individual fishing quota program that resulted from no meaningful consideration of current harvests or present participation in the fishery, as Congress requires,” Pacific Dawn said in a statement. Read the rest here 11:59

California fishing groups unite to fight offshore monuments that prohibit commercial fishing

untitled california seamountJuly 7, 2016 — A collection of more than 40 West Coast commercial and recreational fishing groups, working in conjunction with the National Coalition for Fishing Communities, has written to the White House, the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, and officials in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, opposing the proposed designation of marine monuments off the coast of California that prohibit commercial fishing…The letter is in direct response to a recent proposal calling on President Obama to declare virtually all (SRB’s) off the California coast as National Monuments using his executive authority under the Antiquities Act. Read the rest hereRead the letter here 16:28

Secretary of Commerce adopts halibut bycatch cuts

alaska-halibut__frontThe Secretary of Commerce adopted Amendment 111 to the Magnuson-Stevens Act on Wednesday, which cuts halibut bycatch limits for groundfish trawlers. The amendment aims to reduce the bycatch in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes the measure will reduce the overall amount of halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands by 361 metric tons compared to 2014, or nearly 800,000 pounds, freeing up more of the lucrative fish for the directed halibut fishermen in the central Bering Sea. Read the rest here 07:38

Fishing Rights Alliance has requested that the Secretary of Commerce remove three members from the Gulf Council

GMFMC SidebarIn a letter today, The Fishing Rights Alliance has requested that the Secretary of Commerce remove three members from the Gulf Council for their failure to disclose Board of Director positions with a commercial advocacy and lobbying organization, in clear violation of the MSA. Gulf Council members Corky Perrett (Miss), Harlon Pearce (La) and  are on the Board of Directors of The Gulf Seafood Institute, whose lobbying efforts are made clear on their website. 20:26

Breaking – New England States reach consensus on plans to distribute groundfish disaster funds

The state fishery directors from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, in partnership with NOAA, today announced a proposed framework for the distribution of $32.8 million in federal disaster monies to the New England groundfish industry. Read more here 15:47

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is in Need of Congressional Attention

In a recent article titled, “The Magnuson Act: It’s a Keeper” and published in the media outlet Roll Call[1], Eric Schwaab and Bill Hogarth’s representation that the current fisheries management regime is a success and bviewer-call-to-action-e1381518852468uilt on sound science is blatantly false and amounts to no more than agency based rhetoric rather than reality.  At present, there are a total of 7 Economic Disasters that have been declared by the Secretary of Commerce throughout the United States.  These economic disasters are not limited to one region of the country, they span from New England, down the East Coast, into the Gulf of Mexico, and along the Pacific Coast.  Read more here 16:41

Center for Sustainable Fisheries Files Amicus Brief in Support of Mass, NH, in alleged NOAA National Standards Violations

Brian RothschildThe Center for Sustainable Fisheries (“CSF”) has filed an Amicus Brief in support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire in the case brought against the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary Penny Pritzker, and NOAA. Read more here  10:26

NOAA Announces Partial Approval of Amendment 14 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan

nmfs_logoOn November 7, 2013, NOAA – National Marine Fisheries Service, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, partially approved Amendment 14 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. For the rundown, click here 21:24

We do a lousy job of informing our fellow citizens about fishery issues. Read the Comments!

Message from Alaska: Our disaster relief isn’t ‘pork’

It’s unlikely that many Americans in the Lower 48 know about it, but the Alaskan salmon industry — a significant part of the state’s economy — has been struck by a slow-moving disaster for several years now.  Sources of salmon that even in the mid-2000s yielded hundreds of thousands of pounds of fish are now yielding next to nothing.  Nobody quite agrees on what is causing the problem, but as Knudson noted, in September the Commerce Department issued what is called a resource disaster designation covering parts of the Alaskan salmon industry, making it eligible for federal relief funds.

That’s where the Hurricane Sandy bill comes in……Read the article and the comments. How do we fix this?

Of course, there is no mention of the other fishery disasters,,,

Garden State Seafood Associatio​n Seeks Federal Disaster Aid After Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey’s commercial fishermen landed and processed finfish and shellfish valued at almost 200 million dollars at the dock in 2011. These landings generated more than a billion dollars in economic activity for the State of New Jersey. Our commercial fishermen and fishing-dependent businesses from Cumberland County bordering Delaware Bay up the coast to Monmouth County on Raritan Bay suffered grievously from Hurricane Sandy and now face myriad challenges as they attempt to rebuild both their facilities and their markets. Accordingly, the GSSA is requesting that NJ Governor Christie make requests to the Secretary of Commerce under both programs and encourage the Secretary to act in a timely manner to help New Jersey’s fishermen and those in fishing-dependent businesses rebuild their facilities and their markets as rapidly and effectively as possible.
For more information contact Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director,      at 609 898 1100 or [email protected].

Apalachicola Bay-Franklin County Oysterman: “We’re going to lose everything we’ve ever worked for”

“I don’t know how families are going to survive,” said his wife and fellow oysterman, Betty Shiver. For the oystering couple, making a decent living these days seems down right impossible. They say the Apalachicola Bay, known for its big beautiful oysters, isn’t producing. The cause? Perhaps a lack of fresh water, over harvesting, or even possible remnants of the BP oil spill. They just don’t know, but their situation grows dire. “A lot of people, all they do is depend on this bay out here oystering and if it’s not here they can’t make it, and it’s not here and everybody knows it’s not here,” said Mr. Shiver. Read More

http://www.wmbb.com/story/19479895/franklin-county-oysterman-were-going-to-lose-everything-weve-ever-worked-for