National Fisherman


U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today welcomed the announcement made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to disburse $6,310,216 of new disaster assistance funding aimed to restore the oyster fishery in Apalachicola Bay Florida.

On August 12, 2013, a federal fisheries disaster was declared for the oyster fishery along the northwest coast of Florida due to excessive drought conditions in Apalachicola Bay and elsewhere in the Florida Panhandle that have caused the regional economy to suffer significantly. Historically, the Apalachicola Bay region has produced 90 percent of Florida's oysters and 10 percent of the oysters supplied to the entire country.

"I welcome today's long-awaited announcement to provide disaster assistance to Apalachicola Bay. This news is much-needed relief for the small business owners and families who were severely impacted by this disaster," said Rubio. "During my trip to the region last year, I saw firsthand how essential a thriving oyster industry is to Florida's Panhandle, and I am happy to see that we will finally start getting Florida's oyster industry back on track.

"While I welcome today's announcement, I remain committed to ensuring that we eventually reach a long-term solution to this problem, including restoring water flows to Apalachicola Bay," added Rubio. "I will continue seeking a permanent solution to this, and look forward to working toward a full economic recovery for Florida's invaluable oyster fishery."

Read the full story at WMBB-TV>>

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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.

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...
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