National Fisherman


The city is sponsoring an all-day "solutions workshop" today with an eye toward sketching out options for the future for what once was the nation's greatest fishing port, but now faces catastrophic cutbacks for the new fishing year beginning next Wednesday.

The workshop begins with remarks by Mayor Carolyn Kirk at 9 a.m. at the Gloucester House Restaurant, followed by an overview of the efforts to convince the federal government to allow a second year of interim catch limits, and an easing of the dire May 1 cuts that many see threatening the groundfishing industry that remains rooted in Gloucester.

The regional administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, John Bullard, has said he would not grant the relief — which for the ending year required only a 22 percent cut in Gulf of Maine cod landings, the primary stock harvested by the fleet of mostly day boats operating from the port.

A 77 percent cut — effectively eliminating the landing of inshore cod as anything but a by-catch fishery — is expected to appear in the Federal Register at any time for the new year that begins Wednesday. Bullard said he has been deluged with pleas for relief, but he reiterated at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting that ended on Thursday in Mystic, Conn., that he would resist even President Obama, whom he said he had not yet heard from.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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