National Fisherman


At the most recent hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, testimony focused largely on rebuilding efforts, underutilized stocks and a national seafood sustainability certification.

Witnesses from the commercial and sport fishing sectors, as well as scientists and representatives of nongovernment organizations, talked about several fishery management issues they'd like to see addressed at a U.S. House Natural Resources Committee hearing Sept. 11.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, regulates management of federal fisheries from three miles to 200 miles offshore. It was implemented in 1976, and most recently updated in 2006. Alaska's delegation has said that a reauthorization likely won't come until next year.

In his opening comments, Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., touched on a number of topics that could show up in the revisions, including the information available about sport fishing harvest and efforts, the confidential and proprietary nature of some fisheries data collection efforts and flexibility in rebuilding periods for certain stocks.

As is, Hastings said, the rebuilding periods sometimes cause economic hardships for communities, and some flexibility could be beneficial.

Hastings' points were echoed in testimony from several witnesses, most of whom represented Lower 48 fishing interests.

Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

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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