National Fisherman


ROCKPORT, Maine — In the ocean off Rhode Island, fisherman Rodman Sykes has noticed far fewer cold-water species like lobster and more warm-water species like mahi-mahi and electric rays cruise by his boat in recent summers.
 
“There’s been an awful lot of changes,” he told a roomful of fishermen and policymakers Saturday during a seminar on climate change and ocean acidification at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum that was hosted by the Island Institute. “‘What’s that? Get the book!’ We’ve been getting the book an awful lot more in the last few years.”
 
That dispatch from the immediate south gives Maine fishermen such as Steve Train cause for concern. The major fishery in the Gulf of Maine is lobsters, but the Casco Bay lobsterman said that in his 38 years of setting traps, he’s noticed the water is getting warmer and things are shifting here, too. Lately, he’s seen lots of anomalous species like red hake, turbot, squid, black sea bass and Maryland blue crabs in Maine waters but fewer native species like shrimp and cod.
 
“Climate change is certainly affecting not just the fishing, but the way we’re managing the fishing,” Train said. “The quantity of lobsters being caught for years was always heavier to the westward, lower to the eastward. Now, it’s flip-flopped.”
 
Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

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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