National Fisherman


CORTEZ -- It will be too late for long-defunct fish markets in Cortez, but a Leon County circuit judge's ruling could spell the beginning of the end for the ban on gillnet fishing in Florida's coastal waters.
 
In a sweeping judgment in favor of commercial mullet fishermen, Judge Jackie Fulford called contradictions between the ban approved by voters in 1994 and rules adopted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 1997 to implement it a "legal absurdity," according to a report in the Tallahassee Democrat. She ordered a halt Tuesday to enforcement of Florida's constitutional amendment limiting net fishing in state coastal waters, according to the Democrat.
 
"The court is not saying that preserving our marine life is absurd. Instead the absurdity is created in the law and how it is being applied. It is abundantly unfair for the courts to continue to attempt enforcement of laws that contradict each other," the Democrat reported Fulford wrote in her 11-page ruling. "An absolute mess has been created."
 
Read the full story at Bradenton Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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