National Fisherman


In the course of a year, wild harvest fisheries supply the world with about 200 billion pounds of fish, give or take. Not nearly enough to eat, they tell us, but too much to sustain.

By the same token, the world consumes about 80 million barrels of oil per day. Given that there are about 42 gallons of oil per barrel at an average of 7 pounds to the gallon, we are going through oil at a much faster clip than we are fish. (My calculator doesn't go that high, but if you multiply 8 times 42 times 7 times 365, then tack on 7 zeroes, you get 8.6 trillion pounds of oil per year).

That's 430 pounds of oil consumed for every pound of fish caught.

Eventually we'll run out of oil. The good news is, fish reproduce.

That is not to say that fish are an inexhaustible resource. But the comparison suggests they are a resource we ought to be able to sustain.

Who knows? If we approach fishery management in terms of maximizing harvest, as opposed to maximizing conservation, perhaps we can sustainably increase production.

I don't mean to dismiss forage species, habitat protection and other considerations. But I think we are becoming way too timid about the simple assertion that people ought to eat wild harvested fish, and for the most part, the more the better.

We live in a time in which "fully utilized" stocks are considered anathema. As I see it, they ought to be the Holy Grail.

Welcome to National Fisherman's 2008 Yearbook. — Jerry Fraser

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...
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