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THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER Volume 26 Issue 12 December 2013


US Postage Paid Permit, #65 Brunswick, ME 04011

Maine Coastal News FREE Updates and News in the Commercial Fishing Industry

Dutch Harbor, Alaska and New Bed- ford, Mass. remain top fi shing ports U.S. commercial fi shermen landed 9.6 billion pounds of fi sh and shellfi sh in 2012, valued at $5.1 billion, according to Fisheries of the United States 2012, an annual report released by NOAA.

The value and pounds of fi sh and shell-

fi sh caught remain higher than the average for the previous ten years of 9.2 billion pounds and $4.1 billion, although this rep- resents a small decrease from the high level of landings and value in 2011. “Healthy, sustainable fi sh and shellfi sh stocks are incredibly important to our na- tion’s social and economic fabric,” said Sam Rauch, acting NOAA assistant administra- tor for NOAA Fisheries. “The high landings and value of seafood in 2012 support the three-decade long effort that has gone into ending overfi shing in the U.S. Thanks to our partners, the regional fi shery management councils and especially U.S. fi shermen, we now have some of the most responsibly man- aged, sustainable fi sheries in the world.” Nearly 9.4 million recreational saltwa- ter anglers in the United States took more than 70 million marine fi shing trips in 2012 and caught almost 380 million fi sh, releasing 63 percent alive. Spotted seatrout was the top catch for recreational anglers, with 42.6 million fi sh caught in 2012. Atlantic croaker, black sea bass, summer fl ounder and red drum were the other most common catches


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While the commercial and recreational trends remain high, aquaculture contributes only fi ve percent of production. Washing- ton and Maine lead the nation in marine fi nfi sh farming, primarily Atlantic salmon. Washington, Virginia and Louisiana lead in shellfi sh farming, primarily oysters. The report also shows that the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with the highest amount of fi sh landed – primarily walleye pollock – for the 16th consecutive year. Dutch Harbor fi shers landed 752 mil- lion pounds, up from 706 million pounds in 2011.

For the 13th consecutive year, New

Bedford, MA, had the highest valued catch, due mostly to the highly valued sea scallop fi shery. Sea scallops accounted for more than 80 percent of the value of New Bedford landings.

The report also shows that the aver-

age American ate 14.4 pounds of fi sh and shellfi sh in 2012, a four percent drop from the 2011 fi gure of 15.0 pounds. Altogether, Americans consumed 4.5 billion pounds of seafood.

For a complete copy of the report online: mercial-fi sheries/fus/fus12/index

ASMFC American Lobster Board

Approves Addendum XXII and Releas- es Draft Addendum XXIII for Public

St. Simons Island, GA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Management Board ap- proved Addendum XXII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for American Lobster and Draft Addendum XXIII for public comment. Addendum XXII implements Single Own- ership and Aggregate Ownership Caps in Lobster Conservation Management Area 3 (LCMA 3, federal waters). These measures are intended to enhance the ability of lob- ster business owners to plan for their future fi shing operations as trap reductions are initiated. Draft Addendum XXIII contains information on habitat needs for American lobster and does not include any proposed management changes. Under Addendum XVIII, approved in 2012, permitted LCMA 3 lobster fi shermen or companies will have their trap alloca- tions reduced by 5% per year for fi ve years. The Single Ownership Cap allows LCMA 3 permit holders to purchase lobster traps above the trap cap of 2,000 traps. Any traps purchased above the trap cap may not be fi shed until approved by the permit holder’s regulating agency once the trap reductions commence. This will allow permit holders to maintain a profi table business over the course of the trap reductions while reduc- ing latent effort (i.e. unfi shed traps) in the fishery. The Aggregate Ownership Cap

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limits permitted LCMA 3 lobster fi shermen or companies from owning more traps than fi ve times the Single Ownership Cap, unless the permit holder had the ability to purchase a higher amount prior to NOAA Fisheries publishing a present day control date. Sim- ilar management caps were approved for LCMA 2 in August 2013. Since LCMA 3 is solely in federal waters, the Addendum recommends that NOAA Fisheries promul- gate these measures through the federal rule making process.

Addendum XXII is the third in a series of addenda that respond to the depleted con- dition of the Southern New England (SNE) lobster resource by scaling the capacity of the SNE fi shery to the size the SNE resource. Since the scope of the SNE resource encom- passes all or part of fi ve of the seven LCMAs established by Amendment 3, additional addenda will be developed to address effort reductions in the remaining LCMAs (4, 5, and 6).

Draft Addendum XXIII was developed at the recommendation of the Commission’s Habitat Committee. It proposes updating Amendment 3’s habitat section to include information on the habitat requirements and tolerances of American lobster by life stage. The Board will consider fi nal approval of the Addendum at the Commission’s Winter Meeting in February.

Continued on Page 12.

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