National Fisherman


U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, joined panelists at the Kenai River Classic Roundtable in a discussion about recreational fishing and the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act on Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Currently the MSA only addresses saltwater fishing in federal waters. While it provides a management process for commercial fishing, it lacks a focus on recreational fishing, said moderator Phil Dyskow, who serves on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and the board of directors for the Center for Coastal Conservation.

“What they’ve done is simply used the same policy developed for commercial fishing and applied it to recreational fishing,” he said.

The lack of a recreational policy has created “crisis conditions” throughout the nation, he said. In an effort to resolve the issues that have developed and balance the user groups, Dyskow said, a national recreational fishing policy needs to be developed. A broader understanding of the economic and social values must be seen and the reauthorized MSA needs to address recreational fishing, he said.

Read the full story at the Penninsula Clarion>>

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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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