National Fisherman


An amendment submitted by Congressman John Tierney to give commercial fishermen access to a U.S. Agriculture emergency disaster loan program had died in the U.S. House, though Tierney hopes it may still find sufficient support through a House-Senate reconciliation.

Tierney’s amendment, tacked onto the proposed Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act — better known as the FARRM Bill — was aimed at making commercial fishermen eligible for the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Disaster Loan program, but went down on a vote of 211-215.

“Despite convincing 23 Republicans to vote in support of my amendment, we ran up against the real consequences of the Ryan Republican budget and sequestration,” said Tierney, whose district includes Gloucester and all of Cape Ann. “With deep cuts to federal programs being implemented, many Republicans are refusing to both restore funding for them and give our struggling commercial fishermen the same opportunity to apply for emergency disaster loans as farmers and ranchers.

“Fortunately, a similar amendment, introduced by Senator Cowan, was included in the Senate’s version of the farm bill, and with this close vote in the House, I am hopeful it will be retained in the House and Senate conference report,” Tierney said.

Read the full story at Gloucester 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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