Colin Woodard, Portland Press Herald - New England fishermen and conservationists fear one of President Trump’s executive orders will have disruptive effects on fisheries management....
The ambiguously worded Jan. 30 order requires that two regulations be effectively eliminated for each new one promulgated by most federal agencies. The order prompted a fiery letter three days later from two prominent Democratic congressmen pointing out it could have “devastating impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries and the businesses and communities they support.”
Several fishing organizations raised concerns about the order, including the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, the Massachusetts Striped Bass Association and the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, with the focus on concerns that routine regulatory actions such as opening and closing seasons and amending quotas and rules on a particular species would fall afoul of the order.
“Our big concern is making sure we have certainty around our opening and closing of fishing seasons, especially with the scallop season coming up in less than a month and the groundfishery after that,” says Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, which represents traditional Maine fishermen, most of them engaged in fishing scallops or so-called groundfish – cod, haddock, flounder, hake, pollock and other bottom-dwelling species. “It can become a little scary when fishermen don’t know what their next business year is going to look like.”