Written by Jen Finn
Commercial fishermen who lost millions of dollars when the state of Alaska shut them down to protect weak runs of Kenai River king salmon last year are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.
Though the fishermen in question -- setnetters who work the Cook Inlet beaches near the mouth of the Kenai -- have this year been allowed to fish two traditional openings per week, the Cook Inlet Fishermen's Fund is going to court insisting that is not enough.
A 19-page lawsuit filed against the Alaska Department of Fish and Game argues the agency has violated a Board of Fisheries-approved plan that should give setnetters an extra 51 hours of fishing time via "emergency orders." EOs, as they are commonly called, are issued when massive schools of red salmon start to move along Inlet beaches.
More than 4 million of the fish were projected to return to the Kenai this year. The setnetters say they are again losing money by not being allowed to catch their fair share of those fish. The state says the reason the setnetters haven't been allowed more fishing time is that the reds are mixed in with king salmon, and the late-run of Kenai kings is again weak.
Read the full story at Alaska Dispatch>>
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.Read more...
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.Read more...