National Fisherman

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida commercial fishermen are working to overturn a 20-year-old amendment to the state constitution that limits the gear they can use. The Net Ban Amendment was put in place in 1994 to stop the use of entangling nets and large small-mesh nets to capture entire schools of fish. Some fishermen who count on fishing for their livelihood continue to oppose the law, but according to Preston Robertson, general counsel for the Florida Wildlife Federation, overturning the "Net Ban" would move Florida backward in terms of protecting the state's wildlife. 
 
"Since 1994 we have seen a tremendous rebound in the number of game fish, because we've gotten the nets mainly out of the water."
 
Once the amendment was put in place, fisherman were limited to the use of smaller nets measuring no more than 500 square feet. Currently a group of fishermen is challenging the constitutionality of the Net Ban Amendment, while groups including the Florida Wildlife Federation have filed amicus briefs in support of the law.
 
Robertson said that, while he and others are sympathetic to commercial fishermen, now that 20 years have passed, and considering the improvements to fish populations, it's time to move forward.
 
"I don't know why they haven't moved on to something else, and I'm sure they would tell me it's in their blood to be commercial fishermen, but we've got to live with the law as it is," he stated.
 
Read the full story at Public News Service>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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