National Fisherman

Lobstermen’s efforts to mark egg-bearing female lobsters with a V-notch on their tail have been on the decline since 2008, which could put pressure on the future health of the state’s most lucrative fishery, state officials said.
 
If a female lobster is caught while carrying eggs, a V-notch tool or knife is used to remove a very small, triangular portion of the tail flipper. That lobster is then returned to the water. V-notching began in Maine in 1917 and has been mandatory since 2002, but the practice is very difficult to enforce, officials said.
 
By throwing back the V-notched female lobsters, it allows them to grow larger and reproduce in future years. A V-notch lasts for about two molts or roughly two to three years – depending on the size of the cut – and acts as a signal for the next harvester that catches the lobster that it should be returned to the water to keep the reproductive cycle going, according to Kathleen Reardon, lobster scientist for Maine’s Department of Marine Resources.
 
“It creates a buffer for sustainability for the population,” Reardon said. “Because of V-notching, we’re protecting the reproduction cycle. It’s the only mechanism to return a legal sized lobster back to the water to reproduce.”
 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

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