National Fisherman


Fishermen and boaters of Cape Ann and other parts of the North Shore are seeing a marked increase in long fin squid, a species normally more common south of Cape Cod.

It's the second summer of a squid population explosion, from the Cape to Southern Maine, said Michael Armstrong, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries' Gloucester field station.

"We've always had them (long fin squid), but in less numbers," said Armstrong. "Their abundance is through the roof ... It's even more pronounced this year."

Armstrong said the word "boom" would be an accurate description, with long fin squid numbers increasing tenfold, at least.

The inky invertebrates are so plentiful that it's become popular to catch them, both to eat and to use a bait. The increase in squid fishing has caused friction recently at some North Shore docks — between authorities, boaters and other fishermen.

Earlier this summer, Marblehead town officials banned fishing from town-owned docks and floats, after overcrowding by squid anglers became a problem.

Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh said his team patrols the waters near the city's power plant every night, to remind squid fisherman they must stay at least 100 feet away from the plant. Squid fishing is also popular on the Salem Willows pier and off the rocks near Fort Pickering on Winter Island, he said.

"Usually the squid fishermen work at night. They use bright lights so we do get (complaint) calls," McHugh said. "We go over (to the power plant) nightly to remind them to stay out of the restricted area ... We've had a couple of issues in the Salem Willows with lights, but nothing major."

"(The squid fishermen) are mostly respectful and comply right away," he said.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

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.

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...
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