National Fisherman


BANGOR, Maine — Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Boothbay Harbor, the cutters Campbell and Ocracoke and Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts, saved two people Friday after their fishing vessel sank about 50 nautical miles east of Portland.

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Dungeness crab lovers will get another chance when the fishing season reopens Oct. 1 in many areas of Puget Sound.

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EVERGLADES CITY, Fla. - When Shannon Dudley begins the six-month-long stone crab season on Oct. 15 on his boat Strictly Business, he’ll carry with him the blessings of his friends, family and local churches.

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Halibut ecology, economics and policy, a community fish fry, a 5K run on the Homer Spit and were all part of the festivities Sept. 19-20 as the halibut fishing capital of the world celebrated its first Homer Halibut Festival.

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Congressional opposition seems to be growing against the method -- if not necessarily the intent -- of the conservationist effort to create the first marine national monument on the Atlantic seaboard.

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In early October, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources must make a precedent-setting decision. The agency will decide whether to grant the request of Alaska citizens and fishermen to leave enough water for salmon to survive in the Middle Fork of the Chuitna River in Upper Cook Inlet. To deny the request would increase the threat PacRim LLC, a Delaware-based coal mining company, would be allowed to dewater the Middle Fork in order to mine for coal. Make no mistake, if the water reservation is not granted, and PacRim receives the green light to begin operations, one resource will be traded for another.

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“One thing I like about being a girl out here is that they can’t pay me less than a guy,” Sadie Samuels shouted over the grinding sound of her lobster boat’s mechanical pulley as it hoisted a trap up from the bottom of the ocean. Samuels switched the pulley off and yanked the trap onto the side of her boat before lifting the lobsters out of their wire cage. Some hung on to the mesh with their pincers.

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Nearly 700 illegal crab pots were seized in the waters near Blaine in a two-day sweep conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Tulalip Police on Sept. 17 and 18.

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The Working Waterfront Festival takes place this weekend and features the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, to be held Sunday afternoon on the State Pier. This year, New Bedford welcomes NOAA’s Eileen Sobeck to the ceremony. Ms. Sobeck holds the title of Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, and in that capacity oversees the management and conservation of marine fisheries. According to the NOAA web site: “Her focus is on rebuilding the nation's fisheries and the jobs and livelihoods that depend on them by promoting management approaches that will achieve both sustainable fisheries and vibrant coastal communities.”

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New research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has found that around 47 per cent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste. This huge amount of waste also adds to other problems threatening global seafood resources such as overfishing, pollution and climate change.

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Page 46 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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