National Fisherman


Come February, a federal fisheries council will continue to discuss catch-sharing programs in Alaska trawl fisheries — this time with a bigger voice from Southwest fishermen.

This winter the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) has heard from concerned parties in the state's Southcentral ground fisheries, regarding a change over to catch sharing.

The Council took action in October, said NPFMC member Dan Hull, identifying the purpose and need for a Central Gulf catch share plan. Community members from Kodiak in particular were organized and vocal in their goals and ideas for such a plan, he said.

"The focus on the action was limited to the Central Gulf trawl fishery because it's the sector with the greatest issues to address in terms of bycatch," Hull said.

Fishermen hope that new fishery management will help them to work effectively with bycatch limits, hard caps that can sometimes bring fishing to a halt under the current system.

While a few Western Gulf fishermen spoke at the December meeting, Hull noted that they, in general, have been less organized and less interested when it came to rationalization than those on the south central coast.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

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.

Read more...
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