Commercial fisheries say they could be put out of business by state DNR

Jan 27, 2021

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   Several Michigan lawmakers say recent actions by the Department of Natural Resources amount to “totalitarianism” and “extortion.”

That’s in response to changes that place major restrictions on commercial fishing in the state.

Proposed changes to the laws governing commercial fishing stalled in the state Senate last year. That’s when Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources announced new restrictions --- changes that many say would put commercial fishers out of business.

State Senator Curt VanderWall of Ludington says he’s disappointed with the agency.

“They should be called out for it, and they should understand that that’s not how we do business,” he says.

VanderWall says state lawmakers are ready to work with the DNR to hash out new legislation. But until new laws are passed, he says the DNR should renew all commercial fishing licenses and permits from last year.

DNR officials say they have no comment at this time.