National Fisherman


Fishermen struggling to keep their businesses afloat amid reductions in catch limits and groundfish stocks will now be eligible for financial assistance after the Small Business Association (SBA) approved Governor Deval Patrick’s request for an economic injury disaster declaration.
 
“This is a recognition that federal policies are putting people out of business when it comes to our storied fishing industry,” said Representative Jim Cantwell, D-Marshfield.  “It’s similar to when there is a severe drought or a flood or a frost in the South and family farmers are put at risk.  The federal government comes in to assist them and try to keep them in business.”
 
The U.S. Department of Commerce declared commercial fishery failure for the Northeast groundfish fishing industry in September 2012.
 
“The fishing industry is crucial to the character and economic vitality of Massachusetts,” said Patrick in a released statement. “While we will continue to push for additional disaster assistance from Congress, these loans will aid in the preservation of our fishermen, their families and the economies of our coastal communities and fishing ports.”
 
Read the full story at Scituate Mariner>>

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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