National Fisherman

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fisherman in southwest Florida say octopuses are threatening to decimate their stone crab harvests.

Octopuses are intelligent, voracious predators. They can easily prey on stone crabs caught in traps in the Gulf of Mexico.

"They're real thick offshore. Past 30 feet deep, we're catching a lot of them," commercial fisherman Shane Dooley tells the News-Press ( ). "Some traps have two or three in them. They eat the crabs as soon as they get in, and they go from trap to trap."

All of Island Crab Co. owner Jeff Haugland's traps are in 40 to 55 feet of water.

"It's like a desert out there," he said. "My boats are seeing plenty of octopus, and they're seeing no stone crab, almost less than none."

Read the full story at Miami Herald>>

Inside the Industry

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.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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