National Fisherman


The European Union parliament on Wednesday pushed for a drastic reform of fishing policy in a landmark vote seeking to end decades of overfishing that have decimated many of the stocks in Atlantic and Mediterranean EU waters.

Under the parliament's plan, there would also be a legally binding obligation to end overfishing and rebuild stocks, stop aid to member states that flout the rules and make catch reporting requirements much tougher. Parliament and EU Fisheries Commissioner Damanaki will now negotiate these issues directly with EU member states over the coming months, hoping to draw fishing nations like Spain and France into the new system.

The broad backing by the legislature was welcomed by EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki as a vital breakthrough for "an ambitious reform." Even the oft-critical environmental groups joined in lauding the outcome.

''This is a historic vote," said Uta Bellion of The Pew Charitable Trusts, underscoring the remarkable change in vision the steady depletion of some of the world richest fishing grounds had forced onto politicians.

Read the full story at Sacramento Bee>>

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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