National Fisherman


Americans eat more seafood than just about anyone else. Most of it is imported from abroad. And a lot of it — perhaps 25 percent of wild-caught seafood imports, according to fisheries experts — is illegally caught.
 

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It's the end of the line for Drake's Bay Oyster Co.
 
On Dec. 31, after a long battle with the National Park Service, the California Coastal Commission, the Department of the Interior and wilderness advocates, owner Kevin Lunny and his family will vacate the starkly beautiful Drake's Estero, a 2,500-acre estuary where some of the tastiest oysters on the West Coast have been farmed for more than half a century.
 

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FERNANDINA BEACH | Only a few shrimp boats call Fernandina Beach home these days, docked along Front Street near the end of historic Centre Street.
 
NEWPORT — The U.S. Coast Guard's air facility in Newport will stay open through the coming year.
 

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The U.S. Senate voted to extend a moratorium on an EPA regulation which could affect nearly every commercial fishing boat in Cook Inlet if the current embargo were to expire.
 
Early in the morning of Dec. 2, the factory trawler Oryong 501 sank into the frigid depths of the Bering Sea off of Russia’s east coast.
 

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Anticipated changes in climate will push West Coast marine species from sharks to salmon northward an average of 30 kilometers per decade, shaking up fish communities and shifting fishing grounds, according to a new study published in Progress in Oceanography.
 
With seafood fraud a continuing problem in Maryland and across the nation, environmentalists, fishermen and lawmakers are expressing concern about a decline in the number of special investigative agents and enforcement cases at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
It’s been 11 months now since Congress allocated $75 million in federal disaster funds to help ease the effects of the economic disaster that has befallen fisheries around the nation, with more than $30 million targeted to aid the Northeast groundfishery, and $14.9 million of it headed for Massachusetts.
 
Legislation addressing California's drought reached an inconclusive high-water mark Tuesday, passing the House on a largely party line vote before trickling off to a bleak fate in the Senate.
 

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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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