National Fisherman


2008 Year in Review

A-changin' times

Individual fishing quotas have been around a long time: We've been discussing them — arguing about them, resisting them, and ultimately embracing them — for more than a decade.

Now they have become a fact of life. Some folks believe they are the ultimate outcome of a fishery management system that does not work. Others believe they are the best antidote for avaricious human nature.

Maybe, if we took away GPS and sonar and rockhoppers, we could, in a few years, go back to trying to get a big trip, as opposed to rounding up our quota.

But that isn't going to happen.

And when you look at what's going in Washington, on Wall Street, and in the world at large, the fisherman hasn't got it so bad.

There were some train wrecks in 2008, such as West Coast salmon and New England lobster prices, to say nothing of fuel prices everywhere, but there were some happy endings as well, fisheries from coast to coast in which landings held up or improved and prices ensured viability, if not great wealth.

On the East Coast, we saw fishermen and scientists getting together to make a case for an increased dogfish quotas. And, thanks to the same collaboration, we'll likely see another increase in summer flounder landings this year.

And in the North Pacific, the council has used the occasion of climatic change to ensure that as patterns of fish behavior change, a tradition of responsible stewardship will endure.

Welcome to National Fisherman's 2009 Yearbook. — Jerry Fraser

Check out the print issue for the year's top stories from each region, newsmakers and wacky fish tales.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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