National Fisherman


U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she remains steadfast in her efforts to secure disaster assistance for Massachusetts fishermen, if frustrated by the very process that would deliver it.

"You know what it's like down here right now," Warren, D-Mass., said in a Wednesday night phone interview with the Times.

That is as succinct a description of the current state of Capitol Hill gridlock and partisan angst as you're likely to find. The blogosphere and punditocracy can go on forever, running the same ribbon of verbal asphalt over the same scarred foothills. Nine words seems to work so much better.

But there was real frustration in Warren's voice — a resignation that as Washington grinds on, running on devalued currency of payback and posturing, the commercial fishing industry in Gloucester and throughout New England slips a little further over the horizon.

Warren said she was heartened earlier in the week when Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick certified the scope of the economic hardship that has ripped through Bay State fishing communities after NOAA's drastic cuts in seminal groundfish quotas, thus opening the door to the possibility of low-interest loans to fishermen from the Small Business Administration.

Read the full story at Gloucester 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.

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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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