National Fisherman


U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns has ruled in favor of NOAA in the lawsuit Massachusetts filed last year charging that NOAA failed to utilize the best science available when instituting draconian cuts to groundfish catch limits and failed to consider the adverse economic impact of those cuts.
 
Stearns’ ruling for summary judgment on behalf of NOAA closes the case on the lawsuit initially filed last May by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and joined by New Hampshire last fall as an intervening plaintiff.
 
The ruling stated that Massachusetts and New Hampshire failed to make a convincing case in any of their challenges under the current standards applied to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service for the methodology and accuracy of the science employed in developing the stock assessments that led to the cuts.
 
“The Commonwealth has failed to clear the ‘high hurdle’ of proving that NMFS ignored ‘superior or contrary’ scientific information in performing its stock assessments as is required (for) a violation,” Stearns wrote in his opinion.
 
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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