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: 8/14/14

In this episode:

  • More cod cuts expected if NOAA data holds
  • Louisiana importing oysters to meet demand
  • N.C. sets new sturgeon bycatch rules
  • BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement
  • Senate releases new Magnuson-Stevens draft

National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.

Inside the Industry

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

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Red Snapper Advisory Panel Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the council office — 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Fla. 

Read more...

Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email