National Fisherman


MASHPEE — The Massachusetts Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Mashpee oyster farmer whose proposed Popponesset Bay oyster farm has been continually challenged by neighboring homeowners.

The court ruled Tuesday that both the Mashpee Board of Selectmen and the town's Conservation Commission properly approved Richard Cook's application for a 1.9-acre shellfish grant. A group of neighbors whose homes overlook the bay challenged each board's ruling in separate court cases, which were decided in the same ruling by a three-judge Appeals Court panel.

The court stated the homeowners' claim that the Cape Cod Commission must review the project because it is a commercial development was incorrect. The commission's regulations include neither agriculture nor aquaculture in its definitions of a commercial project, the court stated.

The Appeals Court also found myriad other issues raised by the homeowners to be without merit, including claims that Cook had failed to adequately address the safety concerns of his gear potentially washing away in a storm and that the Conservation Commission reached its decision without enough deliberation or consideration.

Read the full story at Cape Cod Online>>

Inside the Industry

Governor Bill Walker has officially requested that the federal government declare a disaster for four Alaska regions hurt by one of the poorest pink salmon returns in decades.

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The New England Fishery Management Council recently elected Dr. John F. Quinn of Massachusetts and E. F. “Terry” Stockwell III of Maine to serve respectively as chairman and vice chairman in the year ahead. The two have led the Council since 2014 but reversed roles this year. 

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