National Fisherman


ESSEX — The soft-shelled backbone of this town’s economy is under attack from an old enemy, with invasive species of crabs gobbling up clams throughout Essex Bay, experts say.
 
There may be two invasive species threatening the deep-fried favorite of Essex, the European green crabs and the Asian shore crabs. But Essex Shellfish Constable Billie Knovack says there is especially an uptick in European green crabs in Essex, and that means fewer for clammers to reel in.
 
“We have a green crab invasion,” he said Tuesday.
 
Usually, Knovack explained, the winter kills off the crab population. But warmer waters and warmer weather — which he attributed to climate change — means more time for the crabs to hunt Essex’s soft-shelled clams.
 
“It’s a much more opportune environment,” he said. “If you’re a crab, this is beautiful weather,” he said in 40-degree temperatures at the town landing Tuesday.
 
Read the full story at Gloucester 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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