National Fisherman


(Reuters) - Alaska's humpback whales swam a little closer on Wednesday to losing their status as an endangered species after being federally protected for more than 40 years, a U.S. agency said.
 
Alaska in a Feb. 26 petition asked federal fisheries managers to scrap the "endangered" classification of the central north Pacific population of humpbacks under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), citing population growth and existing regulations it says protect the migratory mammals.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday said in a statement it found "substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted."
 
The so-called "positive ruling" comes after the agency's similar response in August to a petition by the Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, which sought to delist all north Pacific whales.
 
Read the full story at Reuters U.S. News>>

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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