National Fisherman


ELLSWORTH, Maine — If there is anything commercial fishermen in Maine have learned over the past several years, it is that things aren't the way they used to be.

Scallop catches are creeping back up as prices have hit an all-time high. Elver prices have come down a bit but remain historically high after shooting into the stratosphere — along with statewide landings totals — in the past two years. Urchin landings, however, continue to slide while the populations of cod and northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine have sunk to their lowest levels on record.

But nothing touches the upheaval Maine's lobster fishery, by far the biggest in the state, has experienced. Warm water during the past couple of years disrupted the fishery's patterns, forcing prices down while landings totals have soared.

This year seems to be different in a way many in the lobster industry say is familiar and is a welcome change of pace. Lobsters have been shedding and growing larger shells later this year than in 2012 and 2013, which has meant the resulting increase in landings has not occurred as early as it did in the past two summers.

Read the full story at Bangor Daily 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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