National Fisherman


In another move to reduce exploding populations of lionfish, divers in Florida state waters may soon be able to hunt the invasive species without a fishing license.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will vote Wednesday on a draft plan that would waive license requirement for taking lionfish, provided harvest is with a pole spear, Hawaiian sling or hand-held net.

Lad Akins, who oversees lionfish research and eradication programs for the Key Largo-base REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), called the rule a "step in the right direction," but said the FWC should waive the license requirement for spearguns, too.

"It shouldn't matter if they are taken with a speargun, hook and line or pole spear," Akins said. "It's a step in the right direction anytime you allow people to take them that otherwise wouldn't."

Read the full story at KeysNews.com>>

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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