Conservation group opposes change in DMR rules

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BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Sierra Club wants the state marine resources to hear from local fishermen and others on a proposal to move away from biodegradable gill and trammel nets.

Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast chairman of the Sierra Club, tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1ksjGq6 ) he sees too many loopholes in the proposed rules, which the Department of Marine Resources posted on its website last week. He filed a lengthy criticism of the rules and called for a public hearing.

Agency spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said fewer than 10 people are eligible to apply to use the multifilament nets. She said the agency’s Marine Patrol doesn’t believe enforcement will be an issue.

The new rules would allow the use of multifilament nylon in gill and trammel nets used by fishermen the marine agency says now have nets that were tagged by the agency since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Coastal Conservation Association also opposes the rules because they don’t have a sunset provision on all gill and trammel nets.

“We were very clear to everyone regarding our strong opposition to any change that does not include a cap and sunset on the gear,” said CCA Executive Director Johnny Marquez.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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