National Fisherman


On Jan. 15 the Dare County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting with representatives from the Oregon Inlet Users Association (OIUA) and others employed in the commercial fishing, charter boat and boat building industries on the Outer Banks to discuss the inlet's "state of emergency" and what can be done about the crisis.

A large contingent of watermen had gathered at the board's Jan. 7 meeting to speak during public comment, describe in detail the dimensions and urgency of the crisis and demand an emergency meeting on the issue. Several of the commissioners traveled to Raleigh on Jan. 9 to hand deliver a "Resolution Calling for Immediate Funding for the Dredging of Oregon Inlet" to leaders in the legislature.

Welcoming everyone present to the Jan. 15 meeting, Board Chairman Warren Judge emphasized, "We don't need to revisit the problem. We are well aware of the problem. What we hope to do tonight is gather input and information so that we can move forward with some new or additional strategies."

Former Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ray Sturza reviewed a draft resolution prepared by the OIUA detailing the importance of Oregon Inlet, the critical impact of the inlet's blockage on maritime industries and on the environmental well-being of the inlet itself, and the need for creation of a task force to work in "partnership" with the Dare Board of Commissioners to "establish a successful long-term approach to sand management at Oregon Inlet in order to create a safe and continuously reliable passage to and from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Oregon Inlet."

Read the full story at the Outer Banks Sentinel>>

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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