National Fisherman

BILOXI, Miss. — The most frequently caught fish in the Gulf of Mexico will soon be off limits to part-time fishermen who sell their catches for extra cash, but that's good news for full-timers.

In 2012, the Commission on Marine Resources approved a rule affecting spotted seatrout that will go into effect May 1.

In order to get a special permit to catch the fish, fishermen with a Commercial Hook and Line license will have to show proof they make at least $5,000 in any 12 consecutive months and 10 percent of their yearly income from catching and selling seafood. As proof they may show sales records or an income tax statement signed or prepared by a tax professional and notarized.

Department of Marine Resources spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said the rule was needed because a lot of recreational fishermen were buying commercial licenses and selling their catches.

"Because there were so many fishermen doing this, getting the license and selling the seatrout, it made us reach the quota early in the season," she said.

Read the full story at Star-Telegram>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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