National Fisherman


The National Marine Fisheries Service used sub-standard methods of data collection and violated the rule of federal law when it failed to consider alternatives to its preferred catch limits or how those alternatives would affect fishing communities, Massachusetts has charged in its most recent filing of its lawsuit against federal fishing regulators.

Those charges are at the heart of the lawsuit the state filed last May 30 against then-Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and her department's fishing regulators — NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service — in the wake of unprecedented cuts in the 2013 available catch limits for cod and other species historically elemental to groundfishermen from Gloucester and elsewhere.

The suit, filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley, contends that those Draconian cuts — 77 percent in the allowable landings of Gulf of Maine cod — were based on questionable science and instituted without proper regard for the adverse economic they would create for fishermen and fishing communities.

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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