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

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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