National Fisherman

Fish living downstream of Alberta’s oil sands have lesions resembling those found on Gulf fish after the BP oil spill, warns a Canadian ecologist.

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LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources' Fisheries Division recently released data from its 2012 state-licensed commercial fishing season. An often overlooked component of Michigan's world-class fisheries resources, state-licensed commercial fisheries in 2012 caught 3,762,000 pounds of fish with a dockside value of $4,087,000 prior to processing, marketing and retail sale.

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At 10:15 a.m. Thursday in Galilee, U.S. Senator Jack Reed will be joined by U.S. Representative Jim Langevin, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit and local fisherman in pushing for legislation to give them a seat at the table of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, a regional management board that establishes fishery management rules for stocks primarily caught in federal waters adjacent to the mid-Atlantic coast.

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As many as 800 Massachusetts anglers have signed a petition seeking additional steps to conserve striped bass from overfishing. The petition calls for a 50 per cent reduction of both commercial and recreational efforts. As many as 30 Vineyarders signed the petition online according to Brad Burns, president of Stripers Forever, a Maine-based organization. The petition was delivered to Paul Diodati, the state Division of Marine Fisheries director, earlier this month.

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BOSTON — Fishery regulators are looking to increase the allocation for another groundfish stock as they try to lessen the effects of huge, coming cuts in catch limits.

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The Maine Lobstermen's Association has been proudly and effectively representing Maine lobstermen for 59 years. The MLA was organized in 1954 by lobstermen who had the foresight to understand that they would be better off working together than on their own.

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During a visit to Eureka Tuesday, March 26 congressman Jared Huffman announced plans to introduce legislation aimed at alleviating the financial hardship of a federal loan that has been weighing on Pacific Coast groundfish fishermen for just under a decade.

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MARSHFIELD — Steve Welch is selling one of his two fishing boats this year because of new catch limits set to go into effect next month. With one less boat, he's been forced to drop five employees – four of whom have families to support.

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Citing widespread evidence of an abundance of important commercial in shore fish stocks — and a scientific study that found flaws in the modeling methods used by the government to set catch limits — a contingent of state lawmakers led by Senate President Therese Murray is urging NOAA's top fisheries official to delay dire cuts planned for May 1 and allow the fleet reasonable access to stocks while new studies are conducted into the vitality of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

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A new plan is being crafted by federal managers for Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries that will reduce bycatch by trawlers, and it will very likely result in a catch share plan. Now is the time for fishing residents to make sure the new program protects their access to local resources and sustains, instead of drains, their coastal communities.

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live is a web video series featuring the latest fishing news, product information and industry analysis by our editors. In this episode:

  • Ruling favors commercial red snapper fishermen
  • Fishermen file suit over Texas oil spill
  • Florida gov. announces oyster recovery funding
  • Hatchery salmon were 36 percent of harvest
  • Maine's new elver rules delay season start

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.

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The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.

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