National Fisherman


Critics of scientists' plans to study the deep ocean floor off New Jersey using seismic airguns say they will rally on Wednesday in Barnegat Light, seeking to organize opposition among the Long Beach Island summer resorts, after federal ocean regulators turned down New Jersey's request to review the imminent project.

The group Clean Ocean Action and its allies in the fishing industry say they worry the loud underwater booming of airguns — generating sonic waves that penetrate deep sediments in the ocean bottom — will disrupt the movements and behavior of fish and marine mammals like porpoises and whales.

On Tuesday, Clean Ocean Action director Cynthia Zipf said she had learned the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had turned down a review request from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Under the state's Coastal Zone Management Act, the DEP had claimed a right to review the plan by researchers from Rutgers University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the University of Texas.

Read the full story at the Asbury Park Press>>

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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