National Fisherman


Bristol Bay in Southwest Alaska is the state’s biggest and most valuable commercial salmon fishery, with millions of prime sockeye returning each summer to spawn.
 
The fishery, which lasts only a few intense weeks and peaks around the Fourth of July, attracts thousands of fishermen intent on scoring big catches. With so much money swimming in, it’s no wonder you see bay boats with names like Lucrative and Net Profit.
 
Supporting the fishery is a vital infrastructure of processing plants to clean and pack the catch. Like fishing, processing is a competitive and risky business. Over its epic history, the Bristol Bay fishery has seen plenty of processors both thrive and sink.
 
This year brings another upstart processor to the bay. And it might be one of the boldest launches ever.
 
The company is Silver Bay Seafoods LLC, based in Sitka. It’s a fast-rising, fishermen-owned outfit generating serious buzz, especially among gillnetters hoping Silver Bay’s entry will force all processors to pay higher dockside, or ex-vessel, prices for sockeye.
 
Read the full story at Alaska Business Monthly>>

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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