National Fisherman


Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has signed onto proposed federal legislation that would develop uniform standards for vessel discharges and restore an exemption from portions of the Clean Water Act previously enjoyed by commercial fishing boats.

Warren is co-sponsoring the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act legislation filed by U.S. Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that is meant to streamline regulations and eliminate redundancies.

Rubio initially filed the bill in 2012, but it died in committee.

A similar bill, supported by the Northeast Seafood Coalition, was filed in the House last year by Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J. That bill, which would place a moratorium on fines for incidental discharges from commercial vessels under 79 feet, was incorporated into the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 and passed last month by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

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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