National Fisherman


Congressman John Tierney and two colleagues today asked the House Appropriations Committee not to forget the Northeast groundfishing industry in the drafting of any disaster relief legislation for the Atlantic states ravaged in late October by superstorm Sandy.

Although no bill has been filed, Tierney spokeswoman Kathryn Prael said that, with the committee attempting to determine the needs of the states in recovering from Sandy in anticipation of possibly drafting legislation, the congressmen — Tierney, Barney Frank and William Keating — wanted to file a "marker" with the committee for a fishing industry that has descended into a government-recognized socioeconomic "disaster" over a number of years.

Tierney's district includes Cape Ann, Frank represents New Bedford, and Keating's district includes Cape Cod and the port along the curve of Massachusetts Bay.

On Sept. 13, nearly 10 months after Gov. Deval Patrick filed his second and more detailed request for a fisheries disaster declaration for Massachusetts, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank prospectively issued a regional fisheries disaster declaration covering the groundfishery beginning in May 2013. Patrick's requests had also been followed by requests by the governors of New Hampshire and Maine and later Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.

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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