National Fisherman


NOAA's regional fishery management council has decided to write a program of controls next year to protect the diversity of the groundfishing fleet between big and smaller boats and protect against monopolization of the catch share commodity trading system that has governed it since 2010.

The elevation of Amendment 18 — the "fleet diversity and accumulation caps" action — to a top priority was confirmed at the end of last week's three-day council meeting in Newport, R.I.

In support was a broad cross section of interests including a number of fishermen, NOAA's regional administrator, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Pew Environment Group, Food & Water Watch and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance — which is based in Gloucester and helped found the Cape Ann Fresh Catch program. But one entity not supporting any potential changes is the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, the largest industry group, which represents 12 of the 17 catch share sectors or fishing cooperatives, covering more than 300 members.

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

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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