National Fisherman

Long Island lobstermen still reeling from a historic closure of Long Island Sound last fall won a victory Wednesday after a state committee declined to put new restrictions on the harvest of a vital alternative species known as whelk.
At a meeting of the Marine Resources Advisory Council in Setauket, board members voted against putting size restrictions on the harvest of whelk, a large snaillike creature also referred to locally as conch. Lobstermen have turned to whelk to make up lost income as the population of lobsters has sharply declined in the waters around Long Island.
Last fall, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, acting on a mandate from federal fisheries regulators, closed the Sound to lobstering from Sept. 8 to Nov. 28, for the first time. The measure is expected to be continued annually until the lobster population rebounds.
John German, president of the Long Island Sound Lobsterman's Association and a longtime lobsterman, argued against the proposed conch rules, saying lobstermen were suffering enough.
"They closed me out of lobstering with a moratorium in the fall that took away 25 to 30 percent of my income," he said. "Now they're trying to ram this [whelk restriction] through here, and there's no data to support it."
Read the full story at Newsday>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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