National Fisherman


WARRENTON —  A death off the Washington coast and two close calls, including one off Cape Arago, has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to remind crabbers to avoid fatigue and wear life jackets. 

John Salas, a 56-year-old crewman on the crabbing vessel Senja, died after falling overboard without a life jacket Jan. 15 off the mouth of the Queets River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Although the crew reacted quickly and a deckhand went after him in an immersion suit, Salas died. His body has not yet been recovered.

Two additional near catastrophes within the Pacific Northwest Dungeness crab fleet in recent weeks have demonstrated the dangers of neglecting proper sleep at sea.

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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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