National Fisherman


The United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) called for prompt and sustainable actions to help rebuild the livelihoods of those in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the regions affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines.  

According to preliminary assessments by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture, small-scale fishers were the worst-affected by the calamity, While larger commercial boats suffered less damage, several small boats and fishing gear were either destroyed or damaged. About 16,500 seaweed farmers – mostly women – lost their livelihoods.

The typhoon flattened crucial infrastructure, including jetties, landing ports, on-shore ice and cold storage facilities, boat repair and maintenance facilities, processing factories and markets. Key aquaculture infrastructure, including oyster rafts, crab, shrimp and mussel farms, as well as inland tilapia cages, hatcheries and fish ponds, was also destroyed.

“Although we still only have a partial picture, it is clear that the damage caused to the fisheries sector is immense and spans the entire value chain, from catch to market,” said Rodrigue Vinet, acting FAO representative in the Philippines, adding that in the context of livelihoods, these losses were crippling.

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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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