Written by Jen Finn
Fishermen and government officials are now sparring over dire 2013 catch limits that threaten the very future of the industry.
And viewers across the country can get their "reality" TV tastes of the fishing world through shows like "The Deadliest Catch" and National Geographic's "Wicked Tuna," filmed out of Gloucester.
But fishing's harshest reality once again hit home in America's oldest seaport and in Deer Isle, Maine, with the U.S. Coast Guard's grim but understandable Wednesday night decision to end the search for the scalloping boat "Foxy Lady II," which had been missing since late Saturday night.
That move means that 25-year-old captain Wallace "Chubby" Gray Jr., and his 50-year-old crew mate Wayne Young, both of Deer Isle, but both of whom fished out of Gloucester, are presumed lost at sea — two more names added to the toll of the more than 5,000 people who have gone "down to the sea in ships" out of Gloucester while seeking to harvest seafood for America's families.
It's easy to get caught up in all of the talk about commercial fishing these days, from the fierce debate and fight for the industry's survival in the face of a declared economic disaster, to the TV exploits of the "Wicked Tuna" crews." But none of us should ever forget that, statistically, commercial fishing remains America's most dangerous industry. And the losses of Gray and Young provide an all-too-real context to those figures as the seventh and eighth men to lose their lives fishing out of Gloucester since January 2009.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
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.Read more...
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.Read more...