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."

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Inside the Industry

The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

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Cummins  announced the opening of a new Alaska service location on Kodiak Island last week that will serve as a service and support location for commercial marine applications.

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