National Fisherman


Shrimp with no eyes. Shrimp with bulbous tumors on their necks. Crabs with holes in their shells.
 
That's what fishermen around the Gulf of Mexico are still finding, three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
 
BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, says it's all natural, according to a report by Al-Jazeera: "BP claims that fish lesions are naturally common, and that before the spill there was documented evidence of lesions in the Gulf of Mexico caused by parasites and other agents."
 
A Louisiana oysterman who is only operating two of the ten boats in his fleet told Al-Jazeera: "We're seeing crabs with holes in their shells, other seafood deformities. The state of Louisiana oyster season opened on October 15, and we can't find any production out there yet. There is no life out there."
 
A Hernando Beach seafood dealer said, "Our stone crab harvest has dropped off and not come back; the numbers are way lower. Typically you'll see some good crabbing somewhere along the west coast of Florida, but this last year we've had problems everywhere... We've seen fish with tar balls in their stomachs... I'm in west-central Florida, but fishermen all the way down to Key West are struggling to make it." 
 
Read the full story at the Broward Palm Beach New 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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