Pirate Fishing

US/Europe Sign On To Sink IUU

by Rich Ruais

Fishing ships without markings, national flags or accountability sweep the worlds oceans. Some transfer their catch to other vessels at sea beyond reach and out of sight. Fish regulated down to the single pound in New England are loaded illegally by the ton onto these pirate vessels. The US-European Statement on IUU fishing is the first official step that could put teeth into efforts to curb illegal fishing.

On September 7, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, and Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, met in Washington, D.C and signed a landmark statement to accelerate joint efforts to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

In 2009 the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization emphasized their finding that “increasing IUU fishing undermines national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably.”

The signing ceremony was chaired by U.S. Federal Commissioner to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Russell Smith III, who also holds the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries, NOAA. Commissioner Smith was the head of the U.S. delegation to ICCAT in Paris in 2010. On January 12 this year, in a NOAA press release, Commissioner Smith was quoted as saying: “Illegal fishing must be stopped as it subjects our fishermen to unfair competition and undermines efforts to sustainably manage the valuable fish stocks around the world that so many communities depend on for food and jobs.”


Lobster Processing: The Straight Story

by Sandra Dinsmore

Line workers at Shucks Maine Lobster packing fresh lobster tails, claws and knuckles. They are wrapped in plastic before being flash frozen. Restaurants like the convenience and use the size, usually 1 1/4 lb. chix, as a portion measure. A similar product frozen with the shell is popular in Europe. ©Photo by Sam Murfitt

On Sunday, September 4, the Boston Globe published a front-page story, by staff writer Jenifer B. McKim, about Maine’s two new lobster processing businesses, Mazzetta, which bought Atwood’s at Spruce Head Island, ships its lobster to Prince Edward Island (PEI) for processing, and Live Lobster, which bought the Bumble Bee sardine cannery at Prospect Harbor.