National Fisherman


WASHINGTON — Recreational and commercial fishing interests are pressing Congress to relax catch limits in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, citing increases in fish populations over the past decade.
 
Some of the organizations that help set those limits and several fishermen who must abide by them told lawmakers Thursday the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act needs to be modified. That’s the federal law that governs fishing activity in areas beyond state-regulated waters.
 
“Many stocks of fish are more plentiful today than at any other time in my career,” Robert A. Johnson, a charter boat captain from St. Augustine, told a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee. “Unfortunately, this accomplishment has come at a huge cost to fishermen and coastal communities. Fishing fleets in my area have experienced about a 50-percent decline in recent years.”
 
Read the full story at Marco Island Sun 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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