National Fisherman


In the first case of its kind in 15 years, a commercial sea urchin diver in Southern California was convicted of poaching abalone and six other resource violations, given a stiff fine and his fishing privileges revoked for life.
 
On April 18, Robert Kenneth Laumer, 55, of Santa Barbara was fined $15,000 and put on three years’ probation by the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Laumer’s commercial and recreational fishing license and permits were revoked for life. He also forfeited more than $1,000, the proceeds from his sea urchin catch, to the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
 
“Because of the depleted abalone resources in Southern California waters, it’s been illegal to take them for 14 years,” said CDFW Ventura County Warden Santos Cabral. The abalone found on the vessel, which ranged from 8-10 inches, would be considered trophy size in northern California, where sport take is allowed.
 
Read the full story at Santa Barbara Independent>>

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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