National Fisherman


"All the empty shells are the oysters that have died," Captain Ed Farley says. "But we do have some live oysters mixed in here." Farley bends to sort through the oysters on the deck of his skipjack, the H.M. Krentz. "This oyster bed," he tells the tourists assembled in front of him, "died in 1985 from the parasites that wiped out the rest of the area."

A middle-aged travel agent from New Jersey named Lori Zimmerman asks, "Don't they know how to manage the parasite?"

Farley fixes her with a stare. "We haven't learned how to manage the common cold, have we?" he asks.

Zimmerman looks abashed.

"The answer's no," Farley says.

"Yeah, okay."

Farley, perhaps recognizing his gruffness, launches into a scientific explanation of the parasite that destroyed this bed.

When you begin a new career at 61, you're bound to hit snags.

Farley is building a tourism business around his expertise in the Chesapeake Bay. After a winter spent oystering, Farley fills his summer with educational sailing tours on his historic skipjack. This sail-powered oystering boat is part of a rapidly dissolving fleet; with only 23 still in the water, he says, a mere six skipjacks continue to oyster. The dwindling fleet was designated one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2002.

Read the full story at Washington Post>>

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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