National Fisherman


The Rudderpost 

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

 

Spring is finally starting to peek through the snow banks here in Maine, and that means it's time for the International Boston Seafood Show.

With so much happening on every coast, I am eager to get together with folks from Alaska, the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico early next week.

The big news on the Gulf Coast this week was that the International Trade Commission upheld tariffs on imported frozen warm-water shrimp.

This extends the five-year reprieve for gulf shrimpers who have been hit with one catastrophe after another and are still recovering from the oil spill that began last April.

The import tax keeps the price of domestic shrimp more competitive with that of the foreign supply at a time when shrimpers need every penny they can get. While the tariff has not allowed fishermen to increase their market share, it has helped them hold on.

In fishing these days, that's often the best one can hope for.

Speaking of best hopes, our hearts go out to those on the West Coast who were affected by the tsunami. Crescent City, Calif., and Brookings, Ore., took the brunt of the damage stateside.

Susan Chambers, deputy director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, visited both harbors early this week. Check out some of her photos on our home page. Her Dock Talk piece on the effects and fallout from these two fishing ports appears in our upcoming May issue.

Let us not forget that fishermen are ever at the mercy of the powerful forces of nature. I hope that encourages fishermen to be safer at sea and also give those who look down on the industry a moment's pause before striking out at the hardworking members of our fishing fleets.

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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