National Fisherman


TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s fishermen are hoping the upcoming stone crab season is better than last season’s dismal haul.
 
The recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvests open today in state and federal waters. The harvests continue through mid-May.
 
The rules are the same in both state and federal waters. Recreational harvesters can use up to five stone crabs trap per person. There’s also a daily recreational bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.
 
When it comes to stone crabs, fishermen usually take just one claw from each crab, which is then returned to the water. Those claws must be at least 2 3/4 inches in length.
 
Last year’s stone crab haul was considered one of the worst in the last two decades, with roughly 2.2 million pounds of claws harvested, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Tom Matthews told The Key West Citizen.
 
That was the smallest haul since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when fishermen lost large numbers of traps, Matthews said.
 
Read the full story at the News-Press>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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