National Fisherman


NEW BEDFORD — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Northeast office Wednesday announced it is easing limits on some monkfishing to partially make up for the severe loss of quota on groundfish stocks.

Depending on the permit category, there will be no limit on monkfish possession from May 1 to Oct. 27 and perhaps beyond. The measure applies to the Northern Fishery Management Area, which is everything north of Nantucket.

The measure was requested by the New England Fishery Management Council as one means of easing the blow of sharp new restrictions on cod and yellowtail flounder.

"In recent years, the monkfish fishery has failed to fully harvest the total allowable landings for each year," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement. "By providing increased fishing opportunities for monkfish in this area, we hope to mitigate the severe quota reductions for some groundfish species in 2013, with little risk of overfishing monkfish."

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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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