National Fisherman


Editor’s note: This is the ninth in the Morris Communications series “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.”
 
Alaska’s long-lived monarch — the king salmon — has fallen from its throne.
 
The species, which once thrived as a fabled ruler in state waters, was sought-after by fisherman from all over the world. Their massive presence in rivers like the Kenai, the Yukon and the Taku, to name only a few, brought sport and commercial fisherman to banks and river mouths for a chance to harvest this mighty resource.
 
The largest known king — weighing in at 126.5 pounds — was caught in a fish trap off Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska in 1938.
 
Today, fish of that caliber are seemingly nonexistent. Alaska has seen unprecedented declines in recent years resulting in declarations of economic disasters in some regions, or simply empty freezers in others. Researchers, management officials, commercial fisherman, subsistence users and sport fisherman are coming to the same conclusion — the fish are fewer and the sizes smaller.
 
That’s why scientists like Joe Orsi and Jim Murphy, both fisheries research biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are digging deeper into decades of research to put forth evidence and findings that may lead to a solution or at least a clue to the cause of the startling downward trend.
 
Read the full story at Alaska Journal of Commerce>>

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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