National Fisherman


BOSTON – The continuing war over striped bass has entered a new battle on Beacon Hill with a renewed effort to eventually make the lucrative catch off limits for commercial fishermen.
 
A bill filed by Rep. Walter Timilty, D-Milton, would limit commercial licenses to fishermen who could demonstrate they've caught and sold more than 1,000 pounds of striped bass annually over the last five years on record. 
 
Fishermen who meet that standard would be allowed to keep their striped bass licenses until 2025, when commercial licenses for the fish would no longer be issued.
 
A group of some 10 concerned Cape and Island commercial fishermen, clad in fishing caps and sweatshirts, joined with Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, on Wednesday to oppose the bill before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
 
“Let's make no mistake about it. This bill exterminates the commercial fishery by 2025,” said Darren Saletta, a Chatham resident and founder of the Massachusetts Commercial Striped Bass Association.
 
Saletta and his group were pitted against members of Stripers Forever, a nonprofit group with a mission of conserving striped bass. The group unsuccessfully pushed for a commercial ban in 2010. Maine, Connecticut and New Hampshire ban commercial fishing of striped bass. 
 
Read the full story at the Cape Cod 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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