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

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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