Written by Leslie Taylor
The recent announcement of federal disaster relief funds for Maine’s struggling groundfish fleet has generated a lot of talk about options and how best to provide maximum relief for our fishermen.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been holding public meetings this summer to hear ideas from fishermen and others about how best to spend about $636,000 in relief funding. Suggestions for these funds include a variety of rebates or subsidies, the leasing of additional fish quota and the pursuit of seafood certification programs.
While not discounting the need for or importance of these options, one of the more promising long-term solutions has so far managed to stay off the radar – funding for gear and equipment that reduces fuel expenses.
For Maine fishermen, the cost of fuel can be their second largest operating expense after crew salaries and can amount to more than $30,000 a year. Unlike some of the other relief options being discussed, saving fuel provides both instantaneous and ongoing financial relief. It also not only benefits boat owners and captains, but the crew of the vessels as well.
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>
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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.Read more...
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.Read more...