National Fisherman


ATLANTA -- A small, but determined effort is underway to convince Gov. Nathan Deal to veto legislation that would protect the red drum, or red fish, from commercial fishing.

However, a representative of the Coastal Conservation Association said Thursday its members are confident Deal will sign House Bill 36 into law. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, prohibits commercial harvesting by declaring the species a game fish.

Robert Morrissey, known around Savannah as Capt. Bob, wrote Deal requesting a veto and urging the Department of Natural Resources to set a smaller daily limit instead.

"Gov. Deal, you can do more with one stroke of your pen to protect the redfish from overfishing," Morrissey wrote. "As chief executive officer for the state of Georgia, order the DNR to reduce the daily creel limit from five to three fish per day."

The Conservation Association pushed for the game-fish designation to preserve a fish that's popular with sportsmen for the way it fights when caught. The 1,800-member organization argues that the economic impact of tourism is greater than the few hundred pounds of fish sold commercially each year.

Read the full story at the Rome News Tribune>>

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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