NEWPORT - State and federal regulatory agencies and industry representatives will join Oregon fishermen and seafood processors on Jan. 14 for a town hall-style meeting to discuss marine fisheries enforcement issues.

The meeting will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in meeting room 9 at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 S. Marine Science Drive in Newport. It is intended to improve communication and understanding between the fishing industry and the agencies charged with enforcing marine fisheries regulations.

The meeting was organized by Extension Sea Grant, the outreach arm of the OSU-based Oregon Sea Grant research and education program., in association with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Oregon State Police, U.S. Coast Guard, and industry groups.

A panel of agency representatives will discuss their jurisdictions, the enforcement process, the litigation process and their agencies plans for fisheries enforcement. They will also use problems they have encountered in working with the industry as illustrations of the challenges their officers confront.

Several fishermen and trade group representatives will be on hand to discuss the difficulties fishermen and processors face in trying to do business under an increasingly complex regulatory system.

Panel presentations will be followed by an open-ended discussion of how the system might work better, including discussion of actions all parties might take to improve communication, cooperation and understanding. Participants will also be asked to consider follow-up strategies to determine whether those actions are working, meeting organizers say.

Bob Jacobson, retired Extension Sea Grant agent for Lincoln County, will chair the meeting. Panelists include Tom Shuler, NMFS special agent in charge; Capt. Lindsay Ball of the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division; Joe Easley, administrator for the Oregon Trawl Commission; Rod Moore, executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association; and several Newport-area fishermen.

For more information about the meeting, contact Ginny Goblirsch, Lincoln County Extension Sea Grant agent, at 541-265-3463.

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Ginny Goblirsch, 541-265-3463