National Fisherman


The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance will appeal the state’s decision to reject its proposed ballot initiative that would ban setnetters in Cook Inlet.
 
In November, AFCA submitted signatures asking for voters to consider banning setnetting in the urban, nonsubsistence, areas of the state — such as the Anchorage area, much of the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez and Juneau. That would eliminate Cook Inlet setnetters and not have an immediate affect on anyone else, although fishermen in other communities would lose the right to setnet if Alaska’s Board of Fisheries and Board of Game removed a region’s rural, subsistence, designation in the future.
 
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced Jan. 6 that the proposed ban on setnetting did not meet the legal standards to appear on a ballot.
 
Treadwell used an Alaska Department of Law opinion that said the initiative was a prohibited appropriation of state assets in striking it down.
 
AFCA announced the decision to appeal Jan. 22 during a press conference in Anchorage, and maintained that the initiative is about conservation, not appropriation.
 
AFCA Executive Director Clark Penney said the appeal had been filed that morning in Alaska Superior Court. AFCA will seek expedited consideration so that a decision is made in the next few months, said Matt Singer, legal counsel for the group.
 
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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