National Fisherman


NEW BEDFORD — Five fisheries scientists based in Woods Hole came to the city Wednesday and spelled out the details of a new yellowtail flounder survey to be performed from commercial fishing vessels in August.

The effort is designed to bring commercial fishermen into the process of conducting surveys, and to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's survey ship Bigelow something to compare to.

The NOAA is looking for two boats big enough to berth five scientists and five crew members, who will work 24-hour days in shifts for 12 days. They will survey Closed Area 2 on Georges Bank, just west of the Hague line, where yellowtail populations are typically concentrated.

The need for large boats with so many berths and the capacity to carry enough fuel and provisions may exclude many yellowtail fishermen, who typically operate smaller boats. So NOAA wants to include yellowtail fishermen as part of the scientific team or even as co-captain or first mate on the large boat.

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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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