National Fisherman


Sometimes technology solves a problem, sometimes it makes it worse.

When researchers at the New England Aquarium and the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown examined ropes recovered from whales entangled in fishing gear from 1994 to 2010, they found that entanglements for North Atlantic right whales, the world’s most endangered great whale species, accelerated dramatically from 1993 to 2010, in both frequency and in the severity of the entrapment.

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As temperatures begin to drop from the upper 70s to mid-60s -- with lows expected to move into the 40s and 30s -- the cooler weather could weaken the destructive red tide algae bloom that has had the Mississippi Sound north of the barrier islands in its grip since early December.

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The new year will soon be here, and with it comes a new round of significant changes to the rules governing the herring fishery.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is exploring the possibility of relocating the Northeast Fisheries Science Center to a new facility outside of Woods Hole.

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Many New England lobstermen are still fishing deep into December this year because of unseasonably warm weather and an abundance of the critters, and Maine's beloved scallops are a little harder to come by as a result.

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New England wouldn’t be the same without the sight of fishing boats easing in and out of its working waterfronts. There is no better homage to this rich seafaring heritage than the visitors and residents alike who clamor for the region’s cod sandwiches, crisp haddock, buckets of steaming fried clams and, of course, the iconic overstuffed lobster roll.

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The state of Maine, famously known for its lobster, is exploring a new frontier – seaweed.

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Changes to Alaska’s coastline and creeks could affect fishing boundaries, but the state Board of Fisheries is waiting to weigh in on possible fixes until a new committee can delve into the issue.

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Federal fishing regulators and environmentalists seem to think the best approach to conservation is simply to nickel-and-dime the local fishing fleet out of existence. It’s a contemptible way to handle an industry that helped build the economy in this nation’s coastal states.

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All that anyone agrees on in the politically charged controversy over southern flounder is that new regulations that go into effect Friday will reduce the number of fish that are caught.

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Page 14 of 405

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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