National Fisherman


Weekend sportfisherman Charlie Caplinger says he can hardly drop a line in the Gulf of Mexico without reeling in a red snapper.
 
"It breaks my heart," Caplinger said.
 
That's because Caplinger, an investment bank salesman who launches from his condo's boat dock in Slidell, Louisiana, is required by U.S. law to toss the tasty, scarlet-colored snapper back into the water.
 
There is a federal catch quota for red snapper, which was designated as an over-fished species in 1988, back when some Gulf fishermen say they rarely saw one.
 
Today, the stock is rebounding, according to scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service. But they say the fish population remains disproportionately young and in need of continued protection to achieve the proper age mix to sustain itself.
 
Because recreational fishermen have overshot their collective catch quota by millions of pounds since 2008, the federal fishing season has been drastically shortened, down to only nine days in June this year.
 
The resultant backlash has pit recreational anglers against commercial fishermen, and U.S. states against the federal government.
 
Read the full story at Reuters>>
 

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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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