National Fisherman


The Alaska Legislature's two Finance Subcommittees on the Department of Fish and Game held a public hearing in downtown Anchorage Tuesday to discuss a lawsuit underway in which a Southcentral driftnetters association is seeking federal oversight of Cook Inlet fisheries.
 
The lawsuit, filed by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) last year, challenges the validity of Amendment 12, an amendment to the federal Fishery Management Plan that allows for Alaska to regulate commercial salmon fishing in three areas of the state: The central part of Cook Inlet, the eastern part of Prince William Sound, and part of the waters off of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island. Originally filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the case was later moved to Alaska.
 
Amendment 12 removes federal oversight for those three areas under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which outlines the federal management of fishery resources across the coastal United States. 
 
UCIDA wants Amendment 12 vacated, and federal oversight returned to Cook Inlet fisheries. 
 
“It’s an unusual case, someone complaining about federal under-reach,” Lance Nelson, Senior Assistant Attorney General said Monday. Federal overreach, on the other hand, is a common cry by Alaskans, invoked in cases like the Environmental Protection Agency's raids on Chicken gold miners last summer, and the Federal government’s stance on prohibiting a road from Cold Bay to King Cove through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge on the Alaska Peninsula.
 
Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

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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