National Fisherman


As the New England Fishery Management Council gathers in the Port City this week to discuss the fate of the region's fishing industry, lawmakers are advocating a softening of regulatory proposals they say could wipe out commercial fishing in New Hampshire.

The first of a four-day New England Fishery Management Council meeting began Monday behind closed doors at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel. Fishermen are most anxious for Wednesday, when the council will discuss in public the details of its request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service for interim action regarding overfishing of Gulf of Maine cod and haddock in 2013.

Portsmouth fisherman Erik Anderson, president of the N.H. Commercial Fishermen's Association, said Wednesday will be the day the council discusses the fate of this and other fishing communities as it addresses fishing quotas. Proposals suggest reductions of cod and haddock catches by as much as 80 percent, he said.

"The impacts are huge. We've said it right along," he said. "This is it. If these guys don't have any fish to catch, it's over."

Read the full story at Seacoast Online>>

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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