National Fisherman


Dogfish, a voracious little shark that hunts in packs and fills its belly with anything it finds, now has so little value in the global marketplace that many fishermen who net them just throw them overboard.
 
And here’s the problem: Scientists say there are huge and growing numbers of dogfish in the Gulf of Maine competing for the same food as more commercially valuable species, such as cod and haddock.
 
“Their numbers are enormous,” said James Sulikowski, a biologist at the University of New England who has studied the species for years. “Dogfish have to eat. If they are strong and increasing in population, they will eat a lot of stuff. That stuff is what other species feed on as well.”
 
He said there are an estimated 230,000 metric tons of spawning dogfish – females of reproductive age – in the Gulf of Maine, compared with only 10,000 metric tons of spawning cod. That’s a 23-to-1 ratio.
 
Dogfish clog up fishing nets and damage gear, and fishermen are jabbed and poked by their teeth and pointy spines as they throw them back into the sea, said Rob Odlin, a Scarborough fisherman.
 
“We hate them with a passion,” he said. “We can’t sell them and they are everywhere.”
 
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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