National Fisherman


NEW ORLEANS — Gulf of Mexico shrimpers have filed petitions with the federal government seeking relief from subsidized shrimp imports. The move came several weeks after Gulf of Mexico shrimpers hailed a House bill that included a provision to increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection's powers to combat illegal imports.

The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries filed the petitions on Friday, which seek "countervailing duties" -- tariffs imposed to offset subsidies by foreign governments -- on shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The coalition states that the duties are needed "to offset the unfair trade advantage currently held by these countries."

The petitions will be investigated by the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, with final determinations expected in the second half of 2013. The coalition states that the seven countries have aggressively undercut domestic prices more and more since 2009 through about $13.5 billion in subsidies for their aquaculture and seafood processing industries - with the shrimp industry the primary recipient.

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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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