National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

JHathaway2 This week confirmed the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is seeping into New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain.

The lake got a lot of press when it flooded neighborhoods during Hurricane Katrina, and in the '80s and '90s when great efforts went into cleaning it up and transitioning it into fishing grounds and an estuary for commercial species.

The lake is no small potatoes for local fishermen. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal this week, "Last year, the lake yielded more than 4.8 million pounds of blue crab, shrimp and fin fish valued at nearly $4.5 million for fishermen, according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. It often provides safe fishing when the Gulf is too rough."

Well I guess we knew fishermen on the Gulf Coast were running out of safe havens.

So now the question is what can we do for them?

I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know money alone is not going to solve this problem.

It's great to have a big fund to draw on, but just ask the fishermen in Prince William Sound if they are no longer heartbroken by the damages caused by the Valdez spill since they got their relatively meager settlements from Exxon.

At a meeting on the oil spill in Alaska this week, citizens called for drastic changes in our federal spill response management.

It is unacceptable that all we can promise right now is the hope that maybe this won't happen again.

Maybe.

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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