National Fisherman


PACIFIC OCEAN — Karl Peek, skipper of the commercial crabbing vessel Pacific Girl, was heading out of Grays Harbor with his crew in the morning to check gear May 6 when they saw a young humpback, nearly 40 feet long, resting on the surface of the water.

As the boat drew near, the reason for the whale's near immobility became clear: It was tangled in crab pot gear, the trailing floats covered in algae, and barely able to surface.

There is little to no incentive for fishermen to report tangled whales, according to a workshop report on whale entanglement issues held by the National Marine Fisheries Service last November. If anything, there are negative perceptions about reporting entangled whales. Who knows – it might lead to more gear regulations.

But Peek and his crew stayed with the whale and called the Coast Guard.

Read the full story at Daily Astorian>>

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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