National Fisherman

National Fisherman - April 2014

Opportunity knocks

The industry has marked some major victories this year, from potentially fatal blows to Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine at the headwaters of the world's most productive salmon grounds to consensus among all eight fishery management councils that our federal fishery laws ought to be rewritten to allow managers and stakeholders in beleaguered fisheries some flexibility during recovery. But there is always room for improvement.

As we count down to reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, we must pin our hopes on strong bipartisan support in a divided and divisive Congress. — Jessica Hathaway

Here we go again

Every year, as we put together our Yearbook issue, I revisit by remembering my travels around the country. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to NF readers that 2013 was full of dizzying highs and lows, on all coasts. Even in Alaska, where the industry is bustling with new boats, new processors, high permit prices and a record salmon harvest, fishing communities and fleets are fighting some big battles, like the threat of a massive mine and an attack on Cook Inlet gillnetters.



Burned out boatshop to be rebuilt; 39-year-old wooden boat still fishing

When firefighters reached Wayne Beal's Boat Shop in Jonesport, Maine, the night of Dec. 18, the place was fully engulfed in flames. Inside the shop was a 40-foot mold with a partially laid-up hull. There was also an older boat that was in for repairs. The boat and the mold were destroyed, along with everything else in the shop.


Gulf/South Atlantic

IFQ fisheries flourish; oysters, blue crab struggle; shrimp fortunes vary

The top finfish stocks — red grouper and red snapper — are in good shape, as are their fisheries, both now managed in the Gulf of Mexico under individual fishing quota programs. Cold water temperatures early in the year slowed the grouper harvest a bit, but mild weather toward year's end may well compensate when Florida's final numbers are tallied.


Compromise and capsize

From U.S. Coast Guard reports

The skipper of a 72-foot steel trawler and his two-man crew were heading home one summer afternoon after plugging the tanks with squid off the Mid-Atlantic coast.


Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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