National Fisherman


The Pensacola Environmental Advisory Board will meet Wednesday to finalize its report on a controversial, multimillion-dollar sports fish hatchery proposed for the Pensacola bayfront.
 
The Florida Gulf Coast Marine Fisheries Hatchery and Enhancement Center would be constructed on city-owned property at Bruce Beach, using an estimated $18.8 million in fines arising from the BP oil spill.
 
The City Council authorized the mayor in 2011 to begin negotiating a lease for the facility, at the rate of $1 per year in January and asked the board to weigh the environmental aspects of the hatchery.
 
On Wednesday, the board will hear from William Patterson — a marine fisheries biologist and associate professor at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab — about the potential impacts of the project on Gulf Coast fisheries. Members also will attempt to finalize their report on the hatchery for delivery to the council later this month. Last week, board chairwoman Chasidy Hobbs presented a working paper summarizing the environmental merits and hazards of the project.
 
“There is no doubt that fisheries are declining on a global scale, including in the Pensacola Bay system,” she wrote. “However, there is little evidence that hatchery operations augment native fish populations, rather than replacing them. At best, more research is needed.”
 
Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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