National Fisherman

RALEIGH — Commercial fisherman from the coast came to Raleigh in droves Monday for a legislative hearing to oppose a bill that would seek "game fish" status for three species: speckled trout, red drum and striped bass.

There was no vote on House Bill 983, but it was an emotional public hearing that stretched on for about two and a half hours. The measure would allow these fish to be caught only by hook and line and would prohibit sales. Restaurant owners that sell seafood also came out in opposition to the bill, concerned that seafood lovers would lose access to their beloved dishes.

Some commercial fisherman said these species account for roughly 30 to 40 percent of their income, sometimes up to 90 percent.

Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, the bill's sponsor, said the primary reason for the hearing was to engage fisherman in this legislation and strike a compromise. It would include a fund for commercial fishermen who lose money from the change.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

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Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

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