National Fisherman


NEW BEDFORD — The environmental group Oceana Inc. filed suit against Northeast fishing regulators Tuesday, accusing them of putting too few monitors on fishing boats to accurately understand what is going on, endangering the fish.

Monitors have been a sore point in the dealings between fishermen and NOAA Fisheries. They are expensive, several hundred dollars per day, and often inexperienced at both counting fish and being on a fishing boat in the open sea.

But the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the monitors so the National Marine Fisheries Service can make certain that boats aren't misreporting the "bycatch" that is discarded.

Gib Brogan, Oceana's representative in Boston, said fishermen fish differently when monitors are on board, yet only 22 percent of boats in the groundfish fleet have them.

Read the full story at Standard-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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