National Fisherman


Transgenic Atlantic salmon, genetically modified to grow larger and faster than wild-type fish, are capable of hybridizing with wild brown trout, creating offspring that carry modified growth genes and outcompete both wild and GM fish, according to new research conducted by Canadian scientists. The modified salmon is poised to become the first GM animal approved for human consumption in the United States, with the US Food and Drug Administration approaching a decision on the product.

"We suggest that interspecific hybridization be explicitly considered when assessing the environmental consequences should transgenic animals escape to nature," wrote the authors of a paper announcing the results in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

AquaBounty, the biotech company that makes the GM salmon (dubbed AquAdvantage), countered that their product consists of female, sterile fish that would be reared in aquaculture facilities on land, making any such risks negligible. "Overall, the study seems to present no new evidence for any added environmental risk associated with the AquAdvantage salmon," AquaBounty CEO Ron Stotish told BBC News.

Read the full story at the Scientist>>

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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