by Hunter Dawkins

At the monthly meeting for the Commission of Marine Resources (CMR) on Tuesday in Biloxi, the commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution introduced by Charter boat representative Ronnie Daniels of Pass Christian to rename Square Handkerchief Key to Gene Taylor Key. Daniels praised twenty year U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor for his marine conservation works and for working to restore the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Several wetlands permits were approved including permits for the Port Bienville Industrial Canal (Hancock County), Jackson County Port Authority railway, and Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company of Pascagoula.

Mississippi Department  of Marine Resources (MDMR) Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Mickle gave a presentation on a proposed lower Pearl River discharge project that would help restore water quality and salinity regimes to the Mississippi Sound that are optimal for oyster recovery and other marine life. Dr. Mickle said that this proposed project will likely take several years to come to fruition and is in the early stages of development as a Mississippi restoration project.

The CMR passed the final adoption of commercial tarpon regulations that prohibits the sale, barter or trade of tarpon caught in Mississippi territorial waters and sets a one fish per person possession limit for commercial fishermen. The CMR previously passed a similar regulation for recreational fishermen last year.

CMR certified three youth division state fishing records at today’s monthly meeting.

Blake Bosarge, 11, of Gautier set the state records using conventional tackle for Knobbed Porgy with a fish weighing 1 pound, 4.8 ounces; a Spanish Flag with a fish weighing 10.98 ounces; Vermilion Snapper with a fish weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces.

Finally, the 2020 commercial shark season will open Monday, Feb. 10, at 12:01 a.m. local time. This opening applies to Mississippi territorial waters only.

Mississippi residential commercial fishermen who wish to participate must possess a fishing boat or a hook and line commercial fishing license, along with a Commercial Shark Endorsement, which can be obtained at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) located at 1141 Bayview Ave. in Biloxi.

Prior to purchasing an endorsement, applicants must attend an identification and safe handling workshop, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, at MDMR at 6 p.m. The fee for the Commercial Shark Endorsement will be $10.

If interested in obtaining a commercial shark endorsement, please contact Jonathan Barr at 228-523-4051 or email