National Fisherman


ELLSWORTH, Maine — A last-minute bid by the Passamaquoddy Tribe to avoid a requirement to impose individual catch quotas on its licensed elver fishermen has come up short.
 
Rep. Madonna Soctomah, the tribe’s representative in the Legislature, proposed an emergency bill that would have allowed legislators to consider whether the tribe should adhere to one tribal catch quota for elvers instead of setting individual quotas for each of its members.
 
The Legislative Council, 10 legislative leaders who decide which proposed bills can move forward for consideration during the shorter second session, on Thursday rejected Soctomah’s proposal, according to council staff. The rejection means that the Passamaquoddys and Maine’s three other federally recognized Indian groups will have to assign individual quotas to their licensed members if they want to receive required electronic transaction cards from the state.
 
Newell Lewey, a Passamaquoddy tribal council member at Pleasant Point, said Thursday evening that the vote in Augusta was not a surprise. What avenue the tribe might pursue next is the “1,600 pound question,” he said, referring to the tribe’s expected overall quota for this year.
 
Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

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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