National Fisherman


FLORIDA KEYS -- Ernie Piton doesn't really like lobster mini-season.

The two-day event, on July 24 and 25, is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors into Florida Keys to eat at local restaurants, drink at local bars and sleep in local hotels. But more importantly, they are here to catch local spiny lobsters.

Piton is a Key Largo-based commercial lobsterman who says it's going to take a lot of law enforcement to keep the rowdy crowd in check.

"I am not a big fan of it at all," he said of the two-day event. "It's getting bigger and bigger every year."

Piton is concerned that recreational lobster harvesters will make multiple trips out into the water to catch more than their allotted daily limit of six lobsters. He also worries that the amateurs will take the egg-bearing lobsters, thereby limiting the reproductive value of the stock.

Though he doesn't like the annul event, Piton said he is entertaining some out-of-town friends this week and will likely find himself out with the masses hunting for lobster.

As for the commercial lobster season, which runs from Aug. 6 to March 31, he is hopeful.

"We won't really know how the season is until after the first month," he said.

Read the full story at Keys News>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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