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The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared the Fraser River sockeye salmon run a “fishery disaster” for nine tribes and non-tribal fishers in Washington state.


The Fraser River empties out near Vancouver, British Columbia. The sockeye salmon from that river are a key resource for the state and tribal fishing industries in Washington.

The Fraser River sockeye salmon runs are worth more than $4 million each year, and they’ve been in decline for 30 years. The fishery was closed altogether in 2013.

Fisheries managers blame the decline on poor ocean conditions, warm river temperatures and habitat decline, among other things.

Tuesday's disaster declaration empowers Congress to allocate money for fishermen and fishing communities that are affected by the crash.

Read the full story at KUOW>>

The Loud Hailer

Lobstermen’s association celebrates 60 with a raffle

 

 



2014 828 60 years MLAIn honor of the 60th anniversary of its founding, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association is holding a raffle for its members. Those who become members or renew their membership before Monday, Sept. 15 will be entered into a raffle for $1,954.

 

The association was formed in 1954 largely as a result of the efforts of one man — Leslie Dyer, a Vinalhaven fisherman. Dyer traveled the coast talking up the idea of a unified lobstermen’s group. In an interview in 1974, he recalled some of the difficulties getting lobstermen to become members. “Some of the old-timers were afraid they were going to have to give up some individual rights… The main thing was to convince these lobstermen that our industry was run by the monopoly of a half dozen big dealers,” he said.

 

Over the years, the association has successfully brought Maine’s independent lobstermen together to tackle the issues that affect them individually and as a fishery. Whether it is in Augusta or in Washington, D.C., the association makes sure that Maine’s lobstermen are heard by those who make the laws. Issues in decades past may have focused on such things as a lobster’s legal size or escape vent configuration. Today’s issues, however, cover the waterfront, from federal regulations based on the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Clean Water Act to marketing and promotion of the state’s signature seafood.

 

“It’s amazing,” explained David Cousens, the association’s president since 1991. “Whenever you turn around there’s another thing coming at you. We have to be there when the decisions are made. In fact, we have to be there before the decisions are made if we want to keep this industry going for the future.”

 

To become a member of Maine’s oldest fishing organization and be part of the commemorative $1,954 raffle, lobstermen are invited to visit www.mainelobstermen.org, email sarah@mainelobstermen.org, or call (207) 967-4555 to learn more.

 

Conferences & Events

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Recipes

Eric Haynes’ Cod Cakes

  • 2 pounds 8-oz cod fillets, fresh if available
  • 4 ounces fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces onion, diced fine
  • 1 ounces celery, diced fine
  • 1 ounces red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 ounces green bell pepper, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Cooking oil or clarified butter as needed
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Book Reviews

 

Vacationland coverVacationland
Man Plans, God Laughs
By Nat Goodale
Bowditch Press, 2013
Softcover, 242 pp., $14.99
www.amazon.com

When I think of Donny Coombs, a fifth generation Maine lobsterman who's the hero of "Vacationland," the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor Man, pop into my head — "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!"

It will take him awhile to get to that point, though. Coombs is pretty much an independent live-and-let-live kind of guy. He's largely content to go lobstering, accompanied by his ornery, territorial, yet faithful and loyal dog, Tut.

However, Coombs' placid life is about to become more stressful on several fronts.

First there are his new neighbors, Delano and Eliza Nelson. The Nelsons are, as Mainers say, From Away. And the missus in particular is hell-bent on, as Goodale puts it on his website, "saving Maine from the Mainers."

Job one in this quest is getting Coombs to remove some items they deem unsightly from his yard. Thus begins what will blossom into an increasingly ugly battle between the two neighbors.

Then there's Shelly Payson, an attractive junior at Harvard, where she's an outstanding member of the crew team. Shelly's impetuous, and like her well-to-do father, Chase, used to getting her way. She's attracted to Coombs, which displeases daddy greatly. His mission is to kill the growing relationship between Coombs and his daughter.

And last, but certainly not least, there's lobsterman Stanley Maven, who covets Coombs' territory. He ignores signs to back off and becomes increasingly bold about setting traps where Coombs fishes.

All of these battles get ratcheted up to a fever pitch. And when Coombs reaches his Popeye-esque breaking point, things get very ugly indeed.

Goodale's crafted a fast-paced page-turner, filled with strongly drawn characters. At first, I was disappointed in the ending. I suspect I'm too used to watching movies where Hollywood wraps everything up neatly to send us smiling out of the theater.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really rang true. When it's all said and done, "Vacationland" proves to be a highly entertaining story that's well-worth reading.


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Safety Training Calendar

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14

In this episode:

  • More cod cuts expected if NOAA data holds
  • Louisiana importing oysters to meet demand
  • N.C. sets new sturgeon bycatch rules
  • BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement
  • Senate releases new Magnuson-Stevens draft

National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.

Inside the Industry

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Red Snapper Advisory Panel Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the council office — 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Fla. 

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