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In the News: August 2012

Major changes in Canadian DFO The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans will institute dramatic changes beginning on January 1, 2013 to modernize its fisheries services. The five key changes will affect fishing licenses, logbooks, gear tags/validation tags, at-sea observers and multi-year management. Many licensing centers across the country are closing. DFO licensing staff nationally has been reduced from 84 people to 42 and the agency is focusing on delivering services online. DFO also will no longer produce and distribute tags and logbooks. Instead fishermen can download and print logbook templates off the Internet. DFO will no longer be purchasing and distributing gear tags. Each Lobster Fishing Area can decide for itself if it wants to continue using lobster tags. Maritime lobstermen have reacted to these planned changes with some anxiety.

 Seaweed workshop being held this month Maine’s seaweed industry will be the subject of a workshop hosted by Maine Sea Grant on August 30, from 2-5 p.m., in Brooke Hall at the Darling Marine Center of the University of Maine in Walpole. The workshop will cover the biology, culture techniques and products being made from seaweed in the U.S. and elsewhere and will review the findings of a recent technology transfer project in kelp/shellfish polyculture, funded by the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center. The meeting will also be used to discuss future needs in research, product development, equipment and husbandry, and further technology transfer. Space will be limited to 65 individuals, and light refreshments are planned. RSVP’s are required. To attend, contact Dana Morse at 207.563.3146 x205, dana.morse@maine.edu or Sarah Redmond at 207.422.6289, sarah.redmond@maine.edu

New head at NMFS Former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard has been named National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Northeast regional administrator. The regional administrator is responsible for managing federal fisheries from the Canadian borderto Cape Hatteras. His first day on the job is August 6. Bullard was New Bedford's mayor from 1986 to 1992. From 1993 to 1998, he led NOAA's Office of Sustainable Development and Intergovernmental Affairs during the Clinton administration. For the last ten years he has been executive director of the Sea Education Association in Falmouth, Massachusetts, a non-profit educational organization that takes college students to sea.

TAA reminder USDA Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Valerie Porter issued a reminder to participants in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA) to complete and return their CCC-931 Average Adjusted Gross Income forms. Forms can be sent to their local county Farm Service Agency office. Participants who fail to return the form will be required to return funds earned through the TAA program. Participants are strongly encouraged to contact the local county office with any questions. Program participants use this form to certify that they are within certain income limits for both farm and fishing income to meet program eligibility requirements. For more information about the CCC-931, contact your FSA office and visit the FSA website at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

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