National Fisherman


A group of Galveston area commercial and sports fishermen have filed the first lawsuit over Saturday’s oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel.
 
On March 22, a collision occurred between a barge being pushed by the M/V Miss Susan and the 585-foot bulk carrier, M/V Summer Wind. As a result of the collision, the barge’s hull and tank were breached resulting in a large spill of marine fuel oil (also known as special bunker). The barge also sank to the bottom of the channel and lies partially submerged.
 
“At the time of this filing, it is unknown how much of the 924,000 gallons being carried by the barge was released into Galveston Bay, but the spill was very large and has had a wide and devastating effect on Galveston Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the people who use and depend on it,” the complaint states.
 
Sean O’Rourke of Simon-O-Rourke Law Firm PC in Houston is representing the plaintiffs.
 
The plaintiffs are businesses and individuals who rely on the natural resources found in and around Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, including its fish, shellfish, oysters, and other aquatic life for their livelihood and/or have property damage associated the collision and subsequent discharge of marine fuel oil into the surrounding water.
 
Read the full story at the Southeast Texas Record>>

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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