National Fisherman


A national U.S. commercial fishermen's organization has formed, ahead of next week's Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW).

Fourteen fishing groups, including the Gulf Fishermen's Association and the American Shark Fisheries Association, have formed Seafood Harvesters of America (SHA) to represent the interests of seafood fishermen. "Through Harvesters, America's commercial fishermen will be at the table when important decisions are made," said Chris Brown, president of SHA. "That is key, because in Washington, D.C., if you aren't at the table, you're on the menu."

First up for the group is lobbying on Capitol Hill, particularly ensuring that commercial fishermen are fairly represented in the Magnuson Stevenson Act reauthorization. In the Senate draft of the bill reauthorizing MSA from Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), the bill proposes re-allocating fish stocks every five years.

"That would create a lot of economic uncertainty for fishermen," Brett Veerhusen (pictured), executive director of SHA, told SeafoodSource. "There were a lot of new provisions put into place in the draft Senate bill. We feel the draft needs to limit the scope of the act...so we can continue harvesting going forward."

Read the full story at Seafood Source>>

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.

Read more...

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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