National Fisherman


HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii fishermen on Monday asked policymakers to address how runoff caused by land development harms reefs, fisheries and oceans when they consider how to cope with the effects of climate change.

Ocean health can't be looked at in segments, Oahu fisherman Roy Morioka told a committee of the federal body responsible for managing fisheries around Hawaii and other parts of the western Pacific region.

Government officials need to take a comprehensive approach, Morioka told a Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council committee on ecosystem management in Hawaii.

"You need to pull it all together. Because not one thing is the issue, it's a collective thing that is the issue," Morioka said.

Carl Jellings, of Waianae, told the committee that fishermen are often told reefs are unhealthy because of overfishing. Fishermen like him are scapegoats, he said.

He argued that what happens on land is one cause of deteriorating reefs. But he says fishermen can't control what happens "up mauka," or toward the mountains.

"We fight every day so we can continue fishing. It's getting harder and harder because more things are happening in the environment that we're getting blamed for," Jellings said.

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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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