National Fisherman

Recreational and commercial blue crab harvesters in the Florida Panhandle must remove their traps from the water before Saturday, the first day of a 10-day trap closure.

This closure will give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.

The January trap closure includes state waters from the Florida/Alabama state line through the Franklin/Wakulla county line.

Traps can be placed back in the water Jan. 15. Until then, blue crabs may be harvested with other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps. Harvesters may also use standard blue crab traps during the closure if the traps are attached to a dock or other private property.

Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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