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: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input for a proposed action to protect unmanaged forage species.

The proposed action would consider a prohibition on the development of new, or expansion of existing, directed fisheries on unmanaged forage species in the Mid-Atlantic until adequate scientific information is available to promote ecosystem sustainability.

Read more...

The National Marine Educators Association has partnered with NOAA this year to offer all NMEA 2015 conference attendees an educational session on how free NOAA data can add functionality to navigation systems and maritime apps.

Session topics include nautical charts, tides and currents, seafloor data, buoy networking and weather, among others.

Read more...
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