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

Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.


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.

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