National Fisherman


With the start of boating season fast approaching, New Jersey will conduct a statewide cleanup of debris dumped in tidal waterways by superstorm Sandy. "It is Sandy debris we are looking at, stuff that was washed out by the storm that is causing a navigational problem or an environmental or ecological problem," Larry Ragonese, press director for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said in an interview last week.

According to Ragonese, the agency will hire three companies to locate debris using sonar technology and remove it from state tidal waterways, including the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and tributaries, and the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays.

"We're anticipating a full-court press on waterway debris for the next several months," he said. "We'd like to get as much of the recreation and commercial fishing waterways open for the summer season — so you are not doing some joy-riding on your boat on June 28 and run into some ship that is underwater."

Ragonese said the state has not previously conducted such a widespread cleanup of the waterways.

Read the full story at the Independent>>

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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