National Fisherman


RALEIGH — The state Senate has passed a budget bill that includes a new commercial fishing fund proposed by the N.C. Fisheries Association and backed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. 
 
This isn’t the only change the Senate has proposed for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ budget. The Senate proposes closing one of the division’s regional offices and cutting several staff positions. 
 
On May 31, the Senate engrossed – put in final form after committee review and approval – Senate Bill 744, the 2014 Appropriations Act. The bill includes creating an N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund, a new fund the NCFA (a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the state seafood industry) proposed in February to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission at its regular meeting.
 
Jerry Schill, NCFA president, said Monday that he’s very pleased the Senate included the fund in its budget bill. 
 
The new commercial fishing fund was proposed Feb. 21, when Mr. Schill presented the MFC with the proposal at their regular meeting. The fund’s purpose is to enhance commercial fishing in North Carolina, provide funding for developing sustainable commercial fishing and for programs required by the state’s federal incidental take permits, such as the DMF’s observer program.  
 
The fund would be created by increases to several commercial fishing and fish dealer licenses. The NCFA proposed the added revenue would be put into the fund, which would be overseen by a board consisting of members from multiple fishing organizations. 
 
Read the full story at the Carteret County News-Times>>

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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