National Fisherman


National Fisherman - August 2007

0807

Northeast Groundfish

Likelihood of even fewer days at sea spurs call for management by regions

Even in a fishery where bad news has long been the norm, Maine's surviving groundfish crews and dealers are dreading the outcome of this summer's New England Fishery Management Council deliberations. Some say the potential for still more days-at-sea reductions, up to a one-third loss over the next two years, may push the last boats out of Maine.

"Vessel attrition to Massachusetts increased three- or fourfold from 2004 to 2005," says Hank Soule, the Portland Fish Exchange's general manager. "We've lost most of our big boats. Five years ago, we handled [fish from] around 250 boats. There are a little fewer than 100 today."

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A tuna fisherman's life

If selling your product on the New York market for 2 cents a pound is giving it away, what do you call it when you're told you just spent 5 cents a pound trucking it there?

You call it fishing, and on the East Coast, that was the bluefin tuna fishery through the 1960s and into the 1970s.

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Sealed in

Pack ice strands harp seal fleet off Newfoundland

By Alison Dyer

After days of blasting northeasterlies over the region, followed by some weak southwesterlies, the night of May 1 was still. A fog settled down over the compacted Arctic ice field. Skipper Dean Patey, his brother Dave and remaining crewman Sheldon Richards were settling in for another uneasy night aboard Patey's Venture, a 35-foot boat stuck in the North Atlantic's icy grip.

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Properly installed heaters keep you warm, dry and safe

Based on U.S. Coast Guard reports

A skipper and two crewmen were groundfishing off of Massachusetts, on a 24-year-old wooden plank-on-frame boat with a fiberglass reinforced plastic outer hull. The skipper and his crew were making day trips to a fishing area five to 10 miles offshore.

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Northeast

Dory schooner gets $3m rebuild;
 wooden lobster boat may race

America — unlike countries such as England, Norway and France — has a miserable record when it comes to preserving the historical craft used in its fisheries. You can't bring back what has been lost, but you can preserve what you still have.

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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.

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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.

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