National Fisherman


A report last week shed stunning light on work conditions on fishing boats half way around the world and opened a door for local shrimpers and fisherman to raise awareness about local seafood.
 
Thai workers bought and sold by brokers, kept away from their families and chained up on overcrowded boats without adequate food or water made ripples around the globalized shrimp market, according to The Guardian. The report momentarily jarred attention away from a debate in the United States over the sustainability and environmental friendliness of Gulf of Mexico shrimpers.
 
The report tied the shrimp to mega-retailers Costco and Walmart, as well as international food stores Carrefour and Tesco. The Guardian reported a day later that the U.S. State Department is reviewing the alleged slave labor practices and will consider prohibiting shrimp imports from that country.
 
For local seafood advocates, like shrimper and shrimp processor Kim Chauvin, the news comes as a breath of fresh air amidst an onslaught of negative press aimed at Gulf of Mexico shrimpers.
 
“It's disgusting to see that that's going on and our government continues to give them subsidies. They are sitting here and acting like they have our best interest at heart.” Chauvin said. 
 
Read the full story at the Daily Comet>>

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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