National Fisherman

AUGUSTA — George Lemar’s nickname is Whispering George.
But Lemar, a 57-year marine worm harvester from Wiscasset, didn’t whisper on Wednesday.
“We don’t come up here and ask you guys for anything,” Lemar bellowed at the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. “All we ask is that you leave us alone!”
Lemar’s remarks were cut short. He was escorted out of the committee room as tempers flared over legislation that drew close to 100 clam diggers and worm diggers to the State House.
The bill, as originally proposed last year, would have allowed towns to prohibit digging in sections of intertidal mud flats to permit reseeding and growth of juvenile clams. Proponents said the bill was designed to combat an exploding population of invasive green crabs that’s decimating the $15.6 million soft-shell clam industry, Maine’s third-largest commercial fishery.
But Lemar and the dozens of other worm diggers who testified against the bill Wednesday suspected a sinister motive.
“This is about control over the mud,” said John Renwick, a worm digger from Birch Harbor who said the bill would let towns restrict the harvesting of not just clams, but worms, too. Renwick said that control is already in the hands of a few: clammers, some of whom have chased him off mud flats with threats of “bodily harm and even death.”
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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