National Fisherman


PORT SALERNO, Fla. - On a beautiful late afternoon, the commercial docks at Port Salerno are quiet. 
 
No big catches are being brought in on this day.
 
75 commercial fishing boats call this port, home.
 
Jim Knapp has been a commercial fisherman here 20 years, mostly fishing for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel.
 
Even though he does most of his fishing offshore, the Indian River Lagoon's toxic water still has an impact.
 
"All fishes will spend part of their lives in the bay or near shore," says Knapp.
 
1.3 million pounds of fish move through the docks annually. But months of freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee will likely cut that number this year.
 
"When this dirty water started coming in, the fish have moved. The larger boats have had to travel farther so their fuel costs are up," said Butch Olsen, the President of the Port Salerno Commercial Fishing Dock Authority.
 
When there's less fresh seafood coming out of the local waters, there's less fresh seafood to sell at local fish markets.
 
Basin Seafood owner Donald Plant says they normally sell a lot of blue crabs. But that local delicacy has been in short supply this summer because of the lake discharges.
 
"When they release that water it runs the crabs out of the rivers," said Plant.
 
Read the full story at WPTV>>

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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