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: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

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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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
Read more...
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