National Fisherman


CHARLESTON — A commercial crab fishing season that was delayed for two weeks is drawing mixed reviews in the opening days. The quality of crab is great, experts say, but for fishermen and processors the season may be just average.
 
The season was delayed two weeks, after preseason testing showed the crab needed a little more time to fill with meat. It started at 12:01 a.m. Monday, after a pricing agreement was reached last Wednesday through annual state-supervised negotiations.
 
Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission Executive Director Hugh Link said the price opened at $2.65 a pound, but without a locked-in time so that it can change as market conditions warrant.
 
Oregon Department of Agriculture Business Development Manager Jerry Gardner, who along with staff supervised the negotiations, noted that this was the eighth time in the past 11 years the bargaining process has achieved a mutually agreeable opening price. This year’s price reflects a 15 percent increase over last year’s negotiated agreement.
 
“I congratulate everyone involved for working hard to find common ground and get the job done in time to get this important fishery underway,” Gardner said.
 
Terms, negotiated between the state’s five port crab marketing associations and five seafood processors, have been reviewed and formally ratified by ODA Director Katy Coba, as required by statute.
 
As of Tuesday afternoon Hallmark Fisheries production manager Scott Adams said that price was still holding.
 
Read the full story at the Coos Bay World>>

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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