Steve Bittenbender

Contributing Editor

Steve Bittenbender works as a freelance journalist based in Louisville, Kentucky. Besides working for SeafoodSource.com as a contributing editor, Steve also works as an editor for Government Security News and as the Kentucky correspondent for the Reuters News Service. He also works as a sports writer for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and The Associated Press. He has received awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Louisville Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his on-going and enterprise reporting work.

Published on
December 10, 2018

When U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act into law last week, it finally – and permanently – relieved the fishing industry from Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding incidental discharge on their boats.

The regulation required vessel operators to get EPA permits to perform routine actions, such as using pumped ocean water to clean off the deck after harvesting. It stemmed

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Published on
December 7, 2018

A decision by NOAA Fisheries to issue five permits for seismic air gun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean has drawn sharp criticism from business and environmental leaders who fear the blasts could be harmful for fish and other marine wildlife.

The blasting will be used to conduct surveys that will provide data to oil and gas industry businesses, who may then seek to conduct offshore drilling in federal waters between Cape May, New Jersey and Cape

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Published on
December 6, 2018

When Dakota Creek Industries took America’s Finest out for its first sea trial on Tuesday 4 December, it looked like the 264-foot vessel was taking a victory lap.

The Anacortes, Washington-based shipbuilder held an event that day to celebrate the Jones Act waiver elected officials were able to get for the processor-trawler. Later in the day, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which contained the labor

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Published on
November 28, 2018

The Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest is now heading to U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, 27 November, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote the Coast Guard Authorization Act, concurring with the changes the U.S. Senate made in approving the bill two weeks ago.

The waiver, if the bill is signed into law by Trump, would allow Fishermen’s Finest to replace its two current fishing boats with America’s

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Published on
November 26, 2018

A trade group representing commercial fishermen on the West Coast of the United States has filed a lawsuit in a California court claiming petroleum companies have significantly harmed the Dungeness crab fishery in that state and neighboring Oregon.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association filed the suit in a San Francisco, California court last week against 30 fossil fuel makers. They claim actions by the defendants –

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Published on
November 21, 2018

With possibly just three weeks remaining in the 2018 U.S. Congressional calendar, recreational fishing supporters are making a last-minute push in hopes of getting at least part of their agenda passed before the end of the year.

Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group, wrote a guest op-ed for The Hill earlier this week urging Congress to pass legislation that he said would modernize fishing regulations and open opportunities for anglers in

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Published on
November 20, 2018

Conservationists left Croatia on Monday, 19 November, expressing disappointment that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna did not pass any measure to protect the stock of bigeye tuna.

Instead, commission members ended their meeting in Croatia's capital of Dubrovnik maintaining the status quo; a catch limit of 65,000 metric tons for the 2019 season, despite an ICCAT scientific committee reporting that the Atlantic

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Published on
November 15, 2018

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday, 14 November, overwhelmingly passed a bill that included language giving Fishermen’s Finest a waiver it needs to use its USD 75 million (EUR 66.4 million) fishing vessel in American waters.

Senate leaders added the Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest, a 264-foot catcher-processor trawler, in its Coast Guard reauthorization bill. That bill, approved by a 94-6 margin, now goes back to the House of

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Published on
November 14, 2018

Fishermen’s Finest may get to sail its new vessel in U.S. waters after all.

Later today, 14 November, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the reauthorization act for the Coast Guard. Officials told SeafoodSource the bill contains a provision granting the company a Jones Act waiver for America’s Finest, a USD 75 million (EUR 66.2 million) vessel built by Dakota Creek Industries in a Washington state shipyard.

The vessel needed the

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Published on
November 8, 2018

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is preparing a campaign to recruit chefs from across the country to lobby the U.S. Congress to support measures that would hold fisheries accountable for overfishing and call for science-based decision making in the management process.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium advocates for greater sustainability in the seafood industry and operates the Seafood Watch initiative, which categorizes seafood items into one of three

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