National Fisherman


As president, Barack Obama promised to change "the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology." To publicly guarantee that, the White House issued a science integrity memorandum in 2009 pledging, "Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions."

Except, it appears, when it comes to the fate of the first transgenic animal to be considered for federal approval—a genetically modified (GM) salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts. The so-called AquAdvantage salmon is a fish that has been modified to grow to market size in about half the usual time. It's raised in contained structures that eliminate many of the environmental effects that make farmed salmon unpopular with some environmentalists, including the generation of excess waste and the potential to spread disease or escape and compete with wild salmon.

The bioengineered salmon has been winding its way through a labyrinthine approval process for 17 years. And it's been in regulatory purgatory for more than two years since the Food and Drug Administration held public hearings—and promised a final determination within weeks.

As recently as last week, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration told me, "The application is still under review." But that's not the whole story.

Read the full story at Slate>>

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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