National Fisherman


The Northeast Seafood Coalition scored a significant victory this week when it helped fight off additional fishery closures related to what it regarded as unwarranted efforts to protect the harbor porpoise.

Now, the Gloucester-based industry group is gearing up for the next potential threat to the already-reeling Northeast groundfish industry: the Habitat Omnibus Amendment.

"It's all about habitat," NSC executive director Jackie Odell said when asked what's next on the coalition's agenda.

And with good reason.

The crafting of the Habitat Omnibus Amendment ultimately will determine the specific areas of the ocean that will be open to fishermen in the Northeast multispecies fishery. The modifications are expected to take effect in the winter of 2015.

It is an extraordinarily complex process, now moving into its sixth year. It is heavily driven by science and varying perspective — and thus often rife with the contention and disagreement that have emerged as the hallmarks of the effort to sustain and govern the American commercial fishing industry.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily 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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