National Fisherman

Although commercial fisherman Thomas Battice has been sent to prison, his trap nets in Lake Michigan can't just be pulled out by anyone who wants them out.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, which licensed Battice, did what it could to start the process for removing Battice's nets this week, though, and said in a press release Friday that the nets would eventually be retrieved.

Cpl. Steve Huff, a commercial fish specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resource Protection Section, joined Little River Band of Ottawa Indians conservation officers aboard the tribe's 32-foot Safeboat on Friday afternoon to mark Battice's nets as unattended, part of the process that would let the tribe eventually remove the nets.

Huff said the process for having nets retrieved is governed by a federal court order so it is important that it be followed to the letter. Huff said the first step in the process, which he joined LRBOI officers for on Friday, is to mark nets as unattended. Once they are tagged as unattended, they can be removed after a certain period of time.

Huff said Battice's nets are not in disrepair and, being trap nets instead of gill nets, they won't collect and kill fish as long as they are maintained.

"Right now, they're not in violation," Huff said.

Once the nets are tagged as unattended for four days, then the tribe can start to take action, Huff said.

"After they meet the definition of 'abandoned,' according to the (Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority) code, they can be pulled," Huff said.

Read the full story at the Ludington Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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