National Fisherman


FREEPORT - Local clammers say they are encouraged that Gov. Paul LePage has established a task force to study the devastating impact that the European green crab is having on the shellfish fishery.
 
But, said Sara Randall, a consultant for the Freeport-based Maine Clammers Association, studies such as the ongoing effort in Freeport are fine, but the time for action is at hand. The Maine Clammers Association wants a regional shellfish commissioner to lead the fight head-on in Casco Bay communities, and soon.
 
The Freeport Shellfish Commission will meet with the clammers at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Freeport Community Center, and the topic of a regional commissioner will be front and center. Randall said that she will present to the commission the advantages of having a regional officer, who would be paid by each participating community.
 
Randall said that Chad Coffin, president of the clammers association, has contacted clammers in surrounding towns such as Brunswick, Yarmouth and Harpswell.
 
“Hopefully, there’s going to be some marshaling of resources,” Randall said. “We’re still trying to find out the best way of netting and fencing (the crabs). That’s what it’s going to have to take. It’s not going to be enough to just say, ‘Let’s study it.’ We have to get on this problem. We’ve already lost our biodiversity. The green crabs have eaten their way through our ecosystem.”
 
Read the full story at the Tri-Town Weekly>>

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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