National Fisherman


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Peninsula resident enjoyed the unusual and exciting experience of testifying in person to a congressional committee this month.

A proposed law working its way through Congress now would give Pacific Coast groundfish fishermen, already working within tight regulations, some extra financial breathing room.

Jim Neva, consultant and retired manager for the Port of Ilwaco, traveled to the nation's capital April 3 to speak at a hearing of the Committee on Natural Resources' subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents Southwest Washington, invited him to speak in favor of her proposed H.R. 2646, or Revitalizing the Economy of Fisheries in the Pacific Act (REFI Pacific Act).

The REFI Pacific Act would direct the Secretary of Commerce to essentially change the terms of a loan that owners of vessels still involved in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery have been paying off since 2003. That's when the fishery was offered a federal buyout. A number of fishermen retired their licenses, with those who continued to fish helping pay for the buyout.

Read the full story at Daily Astorian>>

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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