National Fisherman


Aiming to correct imbalances, Emerson C. Hasbrouck, senior educator of Cornell Cooperative Extension's Marine Program, testified before the U.S. Senate that the federal quotas on harvesting summer flounder - also called fluke - puts New York's commercial fishermen at a disadvantage when compared with other states.

For summer flounder fishing allocations, several states enjoy expansive shares: Rhode Island, 15.7 percent; New Jersey, 16.7 percent; Virginia, 21.3 percent; and North Carolina, 27.4 percent. New York's fisheries get a mere 7.6 percent share.

In 2011, summer flounder landings in commercial fishery were 16.5 million pounds, or about 94 percent of the commercial quota, reports the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The share discrepancies stem from outdated accounting methods for catches, Hasbrouck says: "The fish did not avoid New York fishermen nor were the New York fishermen any less skilled at catching fish. The basis of the problem and of the inequity in the state-by-state allocation is the system of accounting for commercial fish landings that was in place during the baseline qualifying periods."

Read the full story at U.S. AgNet>>

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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