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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Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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