National Fisherman

At a meeting last week of the St. Bernard Parish Council, life-long shrimper George Barisich, President of the United Commercial Fishermen Association urged the council to pass a resolution that supports the exemption of commercial fishermen from paying taxes on BP settlement money.

After the St. Bernard council unanimously passed the resolution, Barisich said he would be taking the cause to Plaquemines and other parishes throughout the region to garner similar support.

The intent of the resolution is to give a push to State and Federal delegation to consider exempting victims of the oil spill of the commercial fishing industry from paying taxes on any settlement money. Before their vote Barisich explained to the council that as of now fishermen are expected to get paid out 40 percent of their loss for eight years.

But when the settlement money is doled out to fishermen that amount will be taxed the standard income tax rate of 35 percent.

"The money, if it stays in our hands, we can spend it down here," said Barisich.

"They're telling you you're getting paid for a 40 percent loss so the fishermen are assuming all the risk, if we get that 35 percent that we have to give President Obama, that money will help us stay down here."

Read the full story at the Plaquemines Gazette>>

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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