National Fisherman


Three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry is still holding its breath and expecting the worst. After all, sick fish are still turning up off Louisiana. Scientists are still probing potential problems with crabs and shrimp.

"There's still a lot of nervousness," said Bob Jones of the Southeastern Fisheries Association, a commercial fishing trade group based in Tallahassee.

How nervous is the seafood industry? After the Tampa Bay Times ran an article this month on the discovery that the 2010 oil spill caused a mass die-off of microscopic fish in the Gulf, the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition offered the reporter an all-expenses-paid trip to New Orleans.

The two-day trip, which the Times declined, was to include free French Quarter seafood restaurant fare in an effort to persuade Americans "that Gulf seafood is not only safe to eat, but one of the healthiest and most delicious choices you can make for your family," explained spokeswoman Amy Noesser Lee.

Read the full story at Herald 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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