Proposed legislation that would allow Maine's groundfishermen to sell lobsters that they unintentionally catch in their trawling nets has led to some fierce debate among different sections of the state's fishing community. On one side are the fishermen, who have traditionally relied on harvesting flounder, pollock, haddock and other types of groundfish. With this fishery facing huge cuts, the ability to sell lobster bycatch to supplement the regular catch is regarded by them as a crucial source of additional revenue. But those who lobster for a living are opposed to the proposal. Tom Porter reports.
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. — Seen from a nearby hilltop, the Drakes Bay Oyster Company is a cluster of shacks with faded white walls. One patched roof appears at risk of being blown away by the next Pacific squall. A dozen workers on a small weather-beaten dock were busy handling a batch of oysters harvested on a recent morning, separating the mollusks on a single rusty conveyor belt.
With the Belford Seafood Co-op as a backdrop, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th District) came to the Middletown shoreline Monday to talk about a bill that could help the storm-tossed fishing industry, still struggling to right itself after Sandy.
In 1608, John Smith started mapping the Chesapeake Bay. However, it was very different from today's bay; the water was cleaner, the diversity of animals astounding and the landscape dominated by forests and marshes. Huge oyster reefs were plentiful throughout the bay and made navigation for Captain Smith difficult, leading to him remark that the oysters "lay as thick as stones."
At a meeting last week of the St. Bernard Parish Council, life-long shrimper George Barisich, President of the United Commercial Fishermen Association urged the council to pass a resolution that supports the exemption of commercial fishermen from paying taxes on BP settlement money.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A large turnout is likely Monday when a legislative committee holds a public hearing on a proposed law to allow fishermen to keep lobsters they inadvertently snag in their nets in offshore waters and bring them to Portland.
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National Fisherman Live: 7/17/14
In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Mike Hillers about the Simrad PX Multisensor.
National Fisherman Live: 7/8/14
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