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
May 29, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Friday, 25 May, it will expand a temporary visa program used by seafood processors and other non-agricultural businesses, but some in the seafood industry are questioning the announcement’s timing.

An additional 15,000 H-2B visa will be made available for U.S. companies to hire foreign workers, according to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Her decree comes roughly two months after the U.S.

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Published on
May 25, 2018

Longtime Rhode Island fisherman Norbert Stamps remembers some advice a mentor gave him as a teen back in the 1970s, when he was working as an apprentice. The more you fish, the less you know, because things are always changing on the water, Stamps recollected his mentor teaching him.

Change is still constant in the seafood industry, but there is one thing the veteran lobsterman from Rhode Island knows is that the future of the commercial fishing

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Published on
May 24, 2018

North Carolina’s Marine Fisheries Commission has approved new rules aimed at dramatically reducing the amount of bycatch taken in by shrimpers.

The commission approved by unanimous vote, at its 17 May hearing, to mandate that shrimp trawls, where more than 90 feet of headrope is allowed, use a gear combination. Tests showed the changes reduced finfish bycatch by 40 percent.

The measure takes effect 1 July 2019. It also comes after a

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Published on
May 21, 2018

The decision by NOAA Fisheries to remove Western Atlantic bluefin tuna is not sitting well with conservationists.

Last week, the agency released its Status of U.S. Fisheries report for 2017. In it, officials announced that the number of stocks on the overfished list had dropped to 35, an all-time low. The Western Atlantic bluefin was among six stocks removed from the overfished list. NOAA, in a press release, said “significant scientific

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Published on
May 18, 2018

As trade discussions continue between China and the United States, there is a debate brewing whether the United States should place a 25 percent tariff on seafood imports from the world’s most populous country.

Supporters of the move, including U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), say it would provide a much-needed boost to domestic producers, and it would also protect American consumers from buying products they say either are fraudulent

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Published on
May 17, 2018

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has given its approval to a bill that proponents claim would eliminate redundancies in the Endangered Species Act and put the Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of safeguarding fish that migrate between fresh and ocean waters.

The Federally Integrated Species Health (FISH) Act passed the Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, 16 May by a 22-14 vote. It now proceeds to the House

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Published on
May 17, 2018

The CEO of Bumble Bee Foods faces up to 10 years in prison on charges he conspired to illegally set prices on canned tuna in the United States.

A federal grand jury on Wednesday 16 May indicted Christopher Lischewski on a single count of price fixing. He is scheduled to be arraigned on 29 May in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California.

According to the indictment, Lischewski “knowingly joined and participated” in a

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Published on
May 15, 2018

The call in the U.S. to place tariffs on Chinese seafood imports grew a little louder last week as a major industry group added its support to the proposal.

However, while U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) called last month on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to levy tariffs on shrimp and crawfish imports, John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, took it a step further.

“(T)he Southern Shrimp

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Published on
May 14, 2018

Due to a court order, the National Marine Fisheries Service has closed a longline shallow-set fishery off the coast in Hawaii for the rest of the year, ending a five-and-a-half-year-old lawsuit brought on by environmental groups.

The closure comes as part of a settlement reached earlier this month between the federal government and the plaintiffs, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity. Those organizations

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Published on
May 11, 2018

This is the time of year when commercial fishermen in South Carolina prepare for the start of the upcoming shrimp season. However, an abnormally cold winter has put the brakes on that, at least temporarily

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