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Rhode Island Fishermen's Alliance
December 16, 2012
Port 3
Weekly Update

New this week:

Lubchenco leaving NOAA, says she 'returned fishing to profitability'

Finding her style to be imperious and rigid, U.S. Congressmen John Tierney, Barney Frank and Scott Brown were united in calling for the president to replace Lubchenco by mid-2010. Fishermen were galvanized by dislike for her personality and policies - especially the commodification of the groundfishery, which has been in a steady decline since her appointment - and held national rallies at the Capitol in 2010 and 2011 that drew more than two dozen members of Congress. Her departure from the Obama administration will end a four-year regimen that promised revitalization of the fisheries via a new economic system based on privatization known as catch shares but instead produced a declared fisheries disaster in the Northeast and a spontaneous resistance by industry all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.


Commerce Department Releases Second Swartwood Report

The Department of Commerce has released a redacted version of the special master, Judge Charles B. Swartwood, III (ret.) concerning applications of review of NOAA enforcement actions.


Commerce Secretary: Return $544K in Fish Fines

The acting U.S. Commerce Secretary on Friday ordered federal regulators to return about $544,000 in unjust fines collected from 14 fishermen or fishing businesses, most of whom worked Northeast waters. In a memo accompanying his 554-page report, special investigator Charles Swartwood said fishery police and attorneys assessed unreasonable penalties and, in some cases, jacked up fines to pressure fishermen to settle at lesser amounts.


$150M in fishing aid in Sandy relief bill

After its transformation into a commodity market with trading in catch shares by members of fishing cooperatives in 2010, the groundfishery began disintegrating into economic crisis. The failure was acknowledged by the acting commerce secretary in September, 11 months after Gov. Deval Patrick began petitioning for a disaster declaration. The groundfisheries of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York were included in the disaster declaration.


Fisheries institute revamp removes Rothschild

A revamp of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute will mean that acclaimed marine scientist Dr. Brian Rothschild at UMass Dartmouth will be out as co-director after 10 years.


NEFMC seeks Applicants for Fishery Advisory Panel vacancies

The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) is soliciting application for seats currently available on several of its advisory panels. Panel members provide information and guidance to specific oversight committees and recommendations to the Council during the development of federal fishery management plans or plan amendments. Advisors also may be asked to assist in addressing a special issue or problem. Currently, the Council invites applicants to fill vacant seats on its Groundfish, Recreational Fishing, Monkfish, Sea Scallop, Herring and Enforcement Panels. Anyone interested in serving as an advisor to one or more of these panels may download the application materials at


Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) Survey

The RIDFW- Marine Fisheries Section, in collaboration with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), is asking all commercial and recreational fishermen, harvesters, and seafood dealers to participate in a survey regarding your opinions on and experiences with electronic reporting methods. Results of the survey will be used during a fall 2013 workshop which will discuss ways to improve electronic reporting. The survey can be found online at Paper surveys are available at the Marine Fisheries Office in Jamestown, the Coastal Resources Office in Point Judith, and the Licensing Office in Providence. Completed surveys can be returned to Anna Webb at the RIDFW office in Jamestown (mail to: 3 Fort Wetherill Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835, or fax to 401-423-1925) or mailed directly to ACCSP at the address on the back of the form.



7.7,7.11,7.15,7.19 - These actions amend the the commercial management plans for summer flounder, scup, spiny dogfish, and Atlantic herring, and make a technical revision to clarify in sections 7.7 and 7.11 the maintenance of logbook copies kept on vessels. [This regulation becomes effective 01/01/2013].


3.2.1 - This action increases the commercial possession limit for summer flounder to 500 pounds beginning 12:01 AM on December 12, 2012. [This regulation becomes effective upon filing].


2013 Lobster Trap Tag Order Form and Instructions

If you wish to order lobster trap tags for the 2013 lobster season (June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2014), order forms are available online at the DEM Marine Fisheries website at


Attention Shellfishers who hold a Whelk Endorsement

Unfortunately, there was a problem with the creation of the mailing list for license holders who receive Rhode Island Harvester Catch and Effort Logbooks, and a logbook was not mailed to all new whelk endorsement holders.  We sincerely apologize for this oversight, and would like to work with those affected to remedy the situation.  In order for new whelk endorsement holders to be compliant with regulations for 2012 and renew your license for 2013, you are required to submit your 2012 catch and effort reports for all whelk landings. The forms and instructions are available online on the RIDFW web page,  Logbook pages are due by January 15, 2013, and you will not be able to renew your license until these pages are received. Please mail or fax all materials to:

RI Division of Fish and Wildlife, ACCSP Program, 3 Ft Wetherill Rd., Jamestown, RI 02835. Fax: 401-423-1925. Please note that logbooks are only accepted by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in Jamestown and are no longer accepted at the Office of Licensing in Providence .



RI State Waters Atlantic Herring Permit Captains Meeting: Dec 19

RI Division of Fish & Wildlife (RIDFW), Marine Fisheries section will be holding a meeting to issue permits to vessels intending to participate in the 2013 RI state waters Atlantic herring fishery. This permit is required to fish for herring in state waters and possess in excess of 2,000 lbs per vessel/day. In order to obtain a permit vessel captains are required to provide their fishing credentials for fishing in Rhode Island state waters. These credentials include valid 2013 fishing licenses, fishing endorsements, and vessel declarations. Captains will review RIDFW herring regulations, document that they possess an electronic device capable of receiving email while fishing, receive a chart displaying potential fixed gear clusters in and around state waters, and review the RIDFW river herring avoidance strategy. The meeting will take place Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus Corless Auditorium. For any other questions please contact John Lake , , or (401) 423-1942.


Special NEFMC Meeting: Dec 20

The New England Fishery Management Council will hold a special one-day meeting on December 20, 2012 to take final action on Framework Adjustment 48 to the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery Management Plan. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Colonial Hotel in Wakefield, MA.


Rhode Island Commercial Fluke Workshop: Jan 14

As a follow-up to the Rhode Island Commercial Fluke Symposium, held last January, a Rhode Island Commercial Fluke Workshop will be held on Monday, January 14, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The location of the workshop is still being finalized, and will be announced soon, along with additional information pertaining to the event. The proceedings of the January 2012 Symposium can be found at:


"The Rhode Island Fishermen's Alliance is dedicated to its mission of continuing to help create sustainable fisheries without putting licensed fishermen out of business."

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Tel: (401) 742-4486
P.O. Box 337
East Greenwich, RI 02818

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Rhode Island Fishermen's Alliance
P.O. Box 337
East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818

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