National Fisherman


The environmental group Oceana seeks to impress us this week with Part 2 of a report on fishing bycatch, those fish that are brought up incidentally while fishermen target another species.
 
"Wasted Cash," the follow-up to "Wasted Catch," says that fishermen are throwing $1 billion worth of fish away each year, over the side instead of going to auction.
 
The first part of the report was published in March, and sought to document that there has been very little progress reducing bycatch. The furious response that followed pointed to all sorts of effective and innovative things that U.S. fishermen and researchers have come up with, like those underwater video surveys invented by UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology.
 
Only a couple of weeks ago, the coordinating committee for the eight fisheries management councils sent Oceana a letter that was a shot across its bow, charging that the analysis is faulty, data is skimpy, assumptions are faulty, omissions are plentiful and the science is way, way too thin. (The letter is very lengthy. I am sketching it here for you; the whole text is available online).
 
I wonder what Oceana was thinking when this letter dropped in its lap barely two weeks ago. After all, here was the report, almost ready to go, and the councils call foul even before its release.
 
The answer? Ignore the councils, it appears. The new Oceana report makes a passing nod to some improvements, then proceeds to revisit the first report as if nothing had happened.
 
Read the full story at Standard-Times>>

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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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