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>>

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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