National Fisherman


THE US city of Boston, still recovering from the terrorist bomb attack on the Marathon two weeks ago, will come alive again later today to the sound of protesting fishermen.

The regional Northeast Seafood Coalition, is holding a major public rally calling for more Federal help for the region's groundfishing industry which is under severe pressure at the moment. Because of restrictions, catches of cod, the staple species of the area, have fallen by over 70 per cent.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition has issued an open invitation for fishermen and their supporters to attend the rally which starts from the Boston Fish Pier. It says the rally will provide an opportunity for the groundfish industry to call upon the federal government for short and long-term assistance and mitigation that are critical to keeping businesses viable.

With the start of the new fishing season on Wednesday this week, the organisers are keen to get their message across to the government and to the public. They say the industry has been in decline since the Obama administration adopted a policy of making the industry move to a catch share management system. This provokes fishermen into trading their share of the quota which has benefited larger vessels to the detriment of the smaller independently owned trawlers.

Last September the acting commerce secretary, Rebecca Blank, declared the Northeast (New England) ground fishing sector to be an economic disaster zone. However, the fishermen say no financial help has been forthcoming.

Read the full story at Fish Update>>

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.

Read more...
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