National Fisherman

Using commercial gill nets in Florida waters -- banned for 18 years -- suddenly became legal for nearly a week in early November.
 
No reports their use were seen in Florida Keys waters before the ban was reinstated Nov. 6 by an appeals court ruling, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
 
"If there were, we didn't hear about it," said Officer Bobby Dube, FWC spokesman for Monroe County. "Now we're back at it" to enforce established rules, he said Tuesday.
 
Current law allows fishermen to have two 500-square-foot nets with 2-inch squares. Fishermen want the squares to be 3 inches. They believe nets with larger mesh sizes (gill nets) can catch target species -- primarily mullet -- while allowing juveniles to escape.
 
For several days after Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford ordered the longstanding net ban lifted in late October because of what she described as a "legal absurdity," FWC officers were prevented by her decision from enforcing the rules.
 
But on Nov. 6, the First District Court of Appeal reinstated a stay on lifting the ban pending further legal review.
 
The Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association joined other state commercial groups to seek status as an intervener in support of changing laws on gill nets.
 
"Nets can be a responsible method of harvest with reasonable limitations in place," said Bill Kelly, the group's executive director. "What the industry is seeking is to have the FWC [board of directors] sit down with fishermen to discuss how to better manage fisheries."
 
"The industry hopes to come to the table with the FWC and interested environmental groups to see if there is common ground to better manage underutilized fisheries like Spanish mackerel."
 
Read the full story at the Florida Keys Keynoter>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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