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 14, 2018

Last year proved a strong one for U.S. seafood consumption, based on the latest data from NOAA Fisheries.

Americans ate 16 pounds of fish and shellfish products in 2017 on a per capita basis, the highest total in eight years. That’s according to the Fisheries of the United States report, one of two annual reports released by the federal agency on Thursday, 13 December.

In addition, U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.9 billion pounds of

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Published on
December 13, 2018

Commercial fishermen and their supporters let Congress know where they stand on a bill that would grant NOAA Fisheries the ability to regulate aquaculture operations in federal waters.

The letter, signed by 100 fishermen and supporters and sent to elected officials last week, claims each fish farm in the exclusive enterprise zone would restrict access to “hundreds of acres of marine space” to commercial fishermen. They also believe

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Published on
December 12, 2018

American seafood is one step closer to being served exclusively in school lunches across the country.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, 11 December, passed the Farm Bill, by an 87-13 margin. Now, the five-year agriculture-related appropriations and policy making bill goes to the House, which is expected to vote on this issue today, Wednesday, 12 December.

While the bill is making headlines elsewhere for legalizing hemp and increasing farm subsidies,

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Published on
December 12, 2018

Nine environmental organizations filed suit against the federal government on Tuesday, 11 December, in an attempt to block seismic air gun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in South Carolina, comes less than two weeks after NOAA Fisheries approved permits for five companies to use air guns as part of a surveying process that could lead to offshore oil and gas drilling. The permits allow their use between

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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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