National Fisherman


More than 2,000 red snapper were released Friday on an artificial reef south of Ship Island.

In a cooperative effort between the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab, the fish were spawned at USM's Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center in Ocean Springs nearly three months ago as part of a research program sponsored by MDMR.

"Red snapper is an economically important reef fish that is a popular target for anglers in the northern Gulf of Mexico," said Kelly Lucas, chief scientific officer for MDMR. "Currently red snapper is under intensive management with severe restrictions on fishing. Stock enhancement, or the release of cultured juveniles, can potentially provide an additional management tool to aid in red snapper fishery management."

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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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