National Fisherman


GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Federal fisheries managers slashed upcoming West Coast sardine harvests by two-thirds while scientists try to get a better handle on indications the population is significantly dwindling.
 
The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted 7-6 Sunday in Costa Mesa, Calif., to set the commercial harvest level for California, Oregon and Washington at 5,446 metric tons for the first six months of 2014, down from 18,073 metric tons for the same period in 2013. The issue will be taken up again after a new and more complete population assessment is issued in April.
 
Council member Marci Yaremko of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the council decided to take an even more precautionary approach than management guidelines call for because the current assessment was lacking some information, such as surveys showing too few sardines are being born to replace the ones that are caught or eaten by other fish.
 
“Nothing is suggesting the biomass is stable,” said Yaremko, who made the motion to cut the harvest. “Everything suggests a decline.”
 
Read the full story at Spokesman-Review>>

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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