National Fisherman


2008 Year in Review

A-changin' times

Individual fishing quotas have been around a long time: We've been discussing them — arguing about them, resisting them, and ultimately embracing them — for more than a decade.

Now they have become a fact of life. Some folks believe they are the ultimate outcome of a fishery management system that does not work. Others believe they are the best antidote for avaricious human nature.

Maybe, if we took away GPS and sonar and rockhoppers, we could, in a few years, go back to trying to get a big trip, as opposed to rounding up our quota.

But that isn't going to happen.

And when you look at what's going in Washington, on Wall Street, and in the world at large, the fisherman hasn't got it so bad.

There were some train wrecks in 2008, such as West Coast salmon and New England lobster prices, to say nothing of fuel prices everywhere, but there were some happy endings as well, fisheries from coast to coast in which landings held up or improved and prices ensured viability, if not great wealth.

On the East Coast, we saw fishermen and scientists getting together to make a case for an increased dogfish quotas. And, thanks to the same collaboration, we'll likely see another increase in summer flounder landings this year.

And in the North Pacific, the council has used the occasion of climatic change to ensure that as patterns of fish behavior change, a tradition of responsible stewardship will endure.

Welcome to National Fisherman's 2009 Yearbook. — Jerry Fraser

Check out the print issue for the year's top stories from each region, newsmakers and wacky fish tales.

Inside the Industry

(Bloomberg) — Millions of dead fish stretched out over 200 kilometers of central Vietnamese beaches are posing the biggest test so far for the new government.

The Communist administration led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has been criticized on social media for a lack of transparency and slow response, with thousands protesting Sunday in major cities and provincial areas.

Read more...

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association released their board of directors election results last week.

The BBRSDA’s member-elected volunteer board provides financial and policy guidance for the association and oversees its management. Through their service, BBRSDA board members help determine the future of one of the world’s most dynamic commercial fisheries.

Read more...
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