National Fisherman


GALLOWAY — With lines straining and creaking in the deck cleats, Warren and Karen Unkert circled the lost ghost traps with their boat. As the tension on the ropes build, the corpse of the stubborn crab pot finally lifts from the muck of the bay bottom.

There is now one less hazard to boaters and, for the time being, crabs.

"On the sonar you can actually see the pot. We'd mark it, go back, and Warren would tell me when to throw the hook," said Karen Unkert, standing among some 500 lost-and-found crab traps stacked alongside Nacote Creek, the harvest from this winter's crab-trap recovery project in Great Bay.

Commercial crab traps comes in various sizes, but nearly all are made of a metal frame with mesh wiring and have strategically placed holes to allow the crustaceans to crawl in, but not out. Trappers can drop dozens of traps at a time, marked by small buoys, and retrieve them days or weeks later.

Read the full story at the Asbury Park Press>>

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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