National Fisherman


All shrimp caught in Louisiana have been given a "red light" grade, an advisory that environmentally-conscious consumers not buy them, because of the state's policy on sea turtle protection.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, which rates seafood based on its sustainability and eco-friendliness, has placed all Louisiana shrimp among the 5 percent of US seafood products that it recommends its followers not purchase.

The Whole Foods supermarket chain is among outlets that make purchasing decisions based on the aquarium's recommendations, which are readily obtained on the Internet or in a smart-phone application.

A Seafood Watch assessment of the U.S. shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic released Monday says that threats to sea turtles are among the nation's most critical conservation issues, and that shrimp nets – which become non-threatening when turtle excluder devices are used – remain, at least in Louisiana.

U.S. fishery species assessed by Seafood Watch are rated either green – Best Choice – or yellow (Good Alternative). Those which do not qualify are rated red, for "Avoid."

"Alone among Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic states, Louisiana prohibits enforcement of federal requirements to use turtle excluder devices," a report issued by the aquarium Monday states."

Read the full story at Tri-Parish 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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