National Fisherman


It's bad enough that America's Atlantic tuna fishermen — including the Gloucester boats and captains featured in National Geographic's "Wicked Tuna" TV series — will be dealing with the same collective bluefin limit of 1,750 metric tons they faced this year, even when studies show the stock's biomass at 145 percent.

But New England and other Atlantic tuna fishermen have only foreign officials and scientists to thank that the limits by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas – or ICCAT — aren't lower than the current figures, again, in spite of the stock's documented growth. For that was the direction sought by NOAA chief administrator Jane Lubchenco, who, rather than representing the interest of NOAA's parent Department of Commerce, American fishermen, and other U.S. businesses tied to the tuna trade, instead pushed for the catch to be lowered, even in the face of science that showed there was no need to do so.

If this doesn't spur federal lawmakers and the Obama administration to give her the boot, we can only wonder what will. Lubchenco's calls at the recent ICCAT meeting in Morocco – thankfully ignored or refuted by respected scientists and government officials from other countries — are nothing short of a disgrace.

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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