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 Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel working group is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 in Boston to discuss using commercial fishing vessels to supplement current stock assessment surveys conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

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Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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