National Fisherman


An ongoing investigation into an elaborate scheme to counterfeit state-issued tags for spiny lobster traps has pulled in a second suspect.

Jesus Alonso Perez, 51, of Miami was charged with possession of phony trap tags after his arrest last week by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers in Miami-Dade County.

Perez is the first person arrested in the case since Ramon Rojas, 44, of Hialeah was arrested on Monroe County and Miami-Dade warrants earlier this month.

Rojas has been charged with dozens of conservation counts for possessing and using fake trap tags, and fishing traps without required state certificates. A handful of Rojas' personal traps bearing counterfeit trap tags were hauled from water off Big Pine Key before his arrest.

Read the full story at the Miami Herald

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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