National Fisherman


The hungry critter's first dish was mussels. Then scallops. Now it's soft-shell clams. And some fear lobsters will be next. European green crabs are devouring a shellfish buffet along Maine's seashore, plundering populations in their wake. To get a snapshot of just how severe the problem is, clammers, scientists, and marine officials took a survey today along Maine's coast.
 
Clammer Chad Coffin says there is a force to be reckoned with in Maine's ocean: Green crabs, he says, are dominating hundreds - if not thousands - of square miles of the intertidal zone, a favored habitat of clams.
 
"The Maine shellfish industry is in deep trouble," Coffin says. "We think that we're only may two years away from really no commercial viability in the state on softshell clams, which has been, historically and traditionally, one of the most important and economically valuable resources on the coast of Maine."
 
Clams are the third most lucrative commercial fishery in Maine, and green crabs are their number one threat. Clammers, marine officials and scientists are banding together to devise a strategy to stop the voracious predator. But first they need to get a better understanding of exactly where green crabs are, and how many of them are out there. 
 
Read the full story at MPBN>>

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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