National Fisherman


At first glance, the marshy, muddy coastline of Bay Jimmy in southeast Louisiana appears healthy three years after the nation's worst offshore oil spill. Brown pelicans and seagulls cruise the shoreline, plucking fish and crabs from the water. Snails hold firm to tall blades of marsh grass.

Underneath the surface, environmentalists and scientists fear there may be trouble, from tiny organisms to dolphins. Yet the long-term environmental impact from the spill is still not fully known and will likely be debated for years to come.

BP has spent billions of dollars on cleanup efforts since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and a well ruptured April 20, 2010, spilling 200 million gallons of crude.

The oil fouled 1,110 miles of beaches and marsh along Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Fishing waters were closed and thousands of people who depend on the Gulf's deep blue waters wondered if the coast would ever be the same again. Crews continue to find oil buried underneath beaches whenever a tropical storm stirs up the Gulf.

"Visually, the coast looks great, and I think most of what was visible is gone," said David Muth, director of the National Wildlife Federation's Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program.

Still, oil sheens penetrated deep into marshes, worrying Muth.

Read the full story at ABC News>>

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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