National Fisherman

MONTGOMERY — An effort to lift a decades-old, but only recently enforced, ban on gill net fishing on the Tennessee River system failed this year, but the debate between commercial and sport fishermen hasn't died.

"We don't bother anyone," said Judy Bivens, of Bivens Fish Market in Athens. "There aren't that many commercial fishermen left."

Until last year, her husband used gill nets to catch buffalo fish and catfish in Wheeler Lake.

In December, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said it would begin enforcing the ban on gill and trammel nets in the Tennessee River basin. The state said the gill net ban wasn't enforced for years based on a legal interpretation that it was unconstitutional. But a state attorney general's opinion late last year said the law could be enforced.

The nets can be used to catch large amounts of fish by blocking a section of a stream or waterway.

The punishment is a fine up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.

"We've lost a lot of customers," Bivens said.

She lobbied earlier this year for legislation that would have lifted the ban. Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, sponsored it and several north Alabama lawmakers lent their support. It passed the House, but died without a vote in the Senate.

"When you think of commercial fishing, you think of the Gulf Coast, but we've got a lot of people here that do it," Greer said earlier this year.

Proponents of the ban said the nets trap and kill too many bass and other valuable fish.

Read the full story at the Times Daily>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14

In this episode:

Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest

National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.

Inside the Industry

More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.

Read more...

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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