National Fisherman


The senior attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation — the only intervenor allowed by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Gloucester's, New Bedford's and other plaintiffs' fishing industry lawsuit challenging the legality of NOAA's and the New England Fishery Management Council's radical restructuring of the Northeast groundfishery based on assigned fishermen's catch shares — has posted an angry condemnation of the government's fishery management.

Peter Shelley's denunciation, which portrays the government's management of the Northeast groundfishery as an abject failure, is notable because he is allied legally with NOAA in opposition to the fishing industry's lawsuit. His posting last Wednesday, however, will not become part of the legal public record on which the court will base its decision, expected by the end of January.

Shelley's argument faults the government for caving to industry pressure to allow too much fishing and, in the long run, has done a disservice to fishermen, especially the small day boat operators. Many associated with industry have faulted the government for the opposite – caving to conservation interests, setting limits too low, managing the fishery based on the weakest stock, and tolerating mistreatment of fishermen by NOAA law enforcers.

Read the full story at Gloucester 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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