National Fisherman


Bad-boy commercial fisherman Freddie Joe Hankins won't have to wear an ankle bracelet, but he will be electronically monitored when fishing off Alaska for the next several years.

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland on Thursday ordered that for three years the fishing activities of the 47-year-old Oregon man be recorded by the federal, electronic Vessel Monitoring System. Hankins was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and a $75,000 fine for illegally catching 31,000 pounds of halibut he sold in Kodiak in 2007.

Fishermen were getting about $4 per pound for halibut at the time, making the catch worth as much as $120,000. According to testimony at Hankins's trial, the fish were caught in an area for which he lacked Individual Fishing Quota, but then reported to have been caught in a faraway fishing area for which he did have quota.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

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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