National Fisherman


Recently, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) closed the commercial fishery for market squid Loligo (Doryteuthis) opalescens. The closure came a month earlier than the year before.
 
This was the fourth straight year that the squid fishery closed early; the season typically extends all year, from April 1 to March 31. The difference this year -- unlike the past -- was that the Department collaborated with the squid industry on day-to-day management, including the closure date.
 
Squid fishermen and seafood processors, working with the Department, tracked catches daily from season start in April. They determined that the season's harvest limit of 118,000 short tons of market squid would be reached early because squid began spawning far earlier than normal in Southern California in 2013, a fact documented by industry-sponsored squid research.
 
This uncommon industry initiative -- a precedent-setting voluntary effort to cooperatively manage the squid fishery -- represents a big step forward for conservation and responsible fishing.
 
Beginning in 2010, the superabundance of squid available to California fishermen was the product of a decadal resource “boom” the likes of which had not been experienced since 1999. Strong La Niña conditions produced a perfect storm of enhanced ocean productivity and market squid took advantage.
 
The fishery responded in kind, and markets increased their packing capacity to process the abundance. The squid fishery exceeded the seasonal catch limit in both 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
 
In 2012-13, in lieu of proposed “slow down” restrictions that the industry opposed, the California Wetfish Producers Association (CWPA), a nonprofit organization representing the wetfish industry -- including squid -- volunteered to help track landings at the end of season. CWPA received full cooperation from participating markets, which helped to validate the Department's preliminary totals. 
 
Read the full story at the Eureka Times-Standard>>

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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