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

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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