National Fisherman


U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says that he's concluded the proposed Pebble mine cannot be developed without harming the Bristol Bay region's world-famous red salmon runs.
 
"Wrong mine, wrong place, too big," Begich said in an interview. "Too many potential long-term impacts to a fishery that is pretty critical to that area but also to Alaska, to world markets."
 
He's the first member of Alaska's current congressional delegation to speak out firmly in opposition to the mine. His comments came after the Environmental Protection Agency released a hefty -- and controversial -- scientific study Wednesday that found a big mine posed significant risks to Bristol Bay salmon. The huge Pebble gold and copper deposit is at the headwaters of two rivers that together account for 25 percent of the world's sockeye salmon production. Bristol Bay overall produces half the world's red salmon.
 
Begich's language almost mirrors former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' wording back in 2008 when asked about Pebble at a campaign stop in Kodiak. "I am not opposed to mining, but it is the wrong mine for the wrong place," Stevens said. (Begich, a Democrat, upset Stevens in that year's general election. Two years later Stevens was killed in a plane crash during a silver salmon fishing trip in the region.)
 
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>

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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