National Fisherman


PORT CANAVERAL — The local commercial fishing industry will receive added protection as part of a plan approved Tuesday by port commissioners.

The commission gave its unanimous support to proposed changes in the port charter recognizing the importance of the commercial fishing industry and assuring that such operations there would not be squeezed out by other development. The Canaveral Port Authority’s action accepts the recommendations of a special 10-member Charter Review Committee.

Port commissioners in July plan to take their final vote on these and other proposed changes to the port charter, which then also must be approved by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

“We didn’t want to see commercial fishing go away in favor of a T-shirt shop,” said Scott Baughan, who chaired the Charter Review Committee. “They’re very vulnerable as an industry. We were trying to protect this fragile industry that was one letter (away) from going out of business” through a notice threatening that a commercial fishing business’s lease at the port might not be renewed.

Under the proposed charter change, a “super-majority” vote of four of the five port commissioners would be required to not renew a commercial fishing operation lease or to relocate the leasee, while the total bulkhead space for commercial fishing operations could not be reduced below the current level. There also would be public hearings at least once every two years at the port to discuss the commercial fishing industry.

Read the full story at Florida Today>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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