National Fisherman


The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has fired back after Louisiana shrimp were “red-listed” by a California aquarium's seafood program that's popular with environmentally conscious people and followed by national retailers.
 
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program has recommended all shrimp harvested from Louisiana be avoided because state law doesn't require local officials to enforce federal regulations to use turtle excluder devices to protect sea turtles and other species from being caught accidentally by shrimpers.
 
Calling the label unfair, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham asked the aquarium's director to rethink the decision.
 
Barham said he believes most shrimpers use the devices and federal agencies such as the Coast Guard are referring violators to federal authorities for enforcement.
 
“Data between October 2011 and January 2013 show that 187 vessel inspections were conducted in state waters. This compares to only 34 in each of Florida and Mississippi and three in Alabama. Violations of these federal laws in state waters are reported to federal authorities,” Barham's letter states.
 
Read the full story at Houma Courier>>

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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