National Fisherman


Federal fishing regulators have deep-sixed a strategy that sought to protect the harbor porpoise by closing more New England fishermen out of certain areas.

The so-called "consequence closures" were enacted if too many porpoises were caught in fishermen's stationary gillnets — a plan that threatened to pose dire new consequences to the groundfishing gillnet fleet, which includes many of the boats out of Gloucester.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition, the Gloucester-based industry group, had pushed for a re-analysis of federal harbor porpoise data, which it said found a healthier porpoise population than believed. In addition, coalition officials said, fewer porpoises are getting caught in nets.

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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