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Weekly Overview: US Government Shutdown Leaves Fishermen in Limbo

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ANALYSIS - In this week's news, the failure of the US government to reach agreement over the budget is impacting the country's fisheries, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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The US government shutdown last week has brought many federal fisheries and agricultural departments to a stand still, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and parts of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson stated that the failure of Congress to reach an agreement on how to fund the government and the expiry of the farm bill has put many farmers and fishermen in a time of uncertainty and limbo.

The shutdown may also lead to a delay in upcoming fishing seasons. In her weekly column, Laine Welch stated that many Alaskan crab fisheries are set to open next week and, although the fisheries will open as scheduled, fishermen may not be able to go out as they will not know how much each boat can catch until NOAA determines the exact quotas.

The whisky and salmon industries in Scotland, UK are about to embark on an innovative new partnership which will convert co-products from whisky production into feed for salmon and fish farming.

Chemical engineers from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland are looking to convert some of the co-products into protein-rich feed, which could have the added benefit of providing a sustainable and economic supply of feedstock for the growing Scottish fish farming industry.

A new Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) forecast system has been developed by the European-funded ASIMUTH (Applied Simulations and Integrated Modelling for the Understanding of Toxic and Harmful Algal Blooms) project, to warn fish farmers in the Atlantic European area of the likelihood of a toxic or harmful event.

The system is designed to combine information from in-situ monitoring, satellite data and biological and physical oceanic models.

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