National Fisherman


Rhode Island is looking to help two of its New England coastal neighbors in the lawsuit to force the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reverse regulations that have resulted in stinging cuts in groundfish catch limits and order the federal agency to better consider the economic impact of its regulations on fishing communities.
 
Rhode Island filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court in Boston last week in support of the suit initially filed in May by Massachusetts and joined by New Hampshire in September.
 
The brief, while setting out material differences between Rhode Island’s fisheries and those of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, supports the view that the regulations will continue to devastate Massachusetts commercial fishermen “and most certainly will ensure that commercial fishing will no longer be the core of the Commonwealth’s economy or communities.”
 
The concern, according to the brief, is that the current NOAA regulations could set off a chain reaction that would result in “a fisheries management plan that may have a substantial adverse impact on the conservation and enforcement programs that Rhode Island provides and supports.”
 
“The next time, it could be us,” said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “Rhode Island clearly recognizes that NOAA needs to do a better job of determining the economic impact of its regulations.”
 
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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