National Fisherman


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking steps to cut back on the harvesting of seafood to address what it claims is a dire need to preserve a marine species.
 
Yet, state lawmakers and those within the seafood industry say the dramatic move is unnecessary, that it is being based on “bad science” and that it will cripple the industry — doing perhaps irreparable harm to fishing communities in the process.
 
That, of course, has been the standing argument and NOAA procedure at the core of the federally recognized “economic disaster” within the Northeast groundfishery — with the federal government now shelling out a total of $75 million in disaster aid, including direct aid to Gloucester and other cod and groundfishermen who are still yet to receive a dime of it.
 
But the latest declaration by NOAA and its Division of Marine Fisheries isn’t connected to groundfishing. This time, NMFS has imposed a new rule designed to protect right and humpback whales — a mandate that prohibits lobster traps in an area stretching from Cape Cod Bay to Boston between Jan. 1 and April 30). And that is just one more recipe for disaster for the Massachusetts and New England seafood economy.
 
Read the full story at Newburyport News>>

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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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