National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

October 10 to 16, 2011 — With no substantial fishing opportunities to speak of for a couple weeks, I had a chance to catch up on some much-needed loose ends on the Satisfaction before the fall keta, or chum, salmon season began. I fixed my bow thruster, got my alarms working properly, and rewired the fishing lights in the mast; none of these jobs would shut the operation down, but they all could lead to disastrous ends.

I was geared up and ready for the October 10 opening in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but unfortunately there were no fish. I had only six fish for my efforts, and that was about par for the course. It was pretty disappointing — Maureen sent out an email to the fish list and pre-sold a bunch of fish. It was quite degrading for this fisherman to have to email everybody who had pre-ordered and tell them there would be no fish because I couldn't preform.

The following opening in Seattle on October 16 was slow as well — less than 30 fish for my efforts. It's okay; it's just a late start. We fish again on Tuesday, October 25, and I'm confident there will be a few fish around. I heard reports of some guys catching a couple hundred fish in Hood Canal.

As the eternal optimist, I'll be there, ready to bring an overdue load of fish back to San Juan Island.


Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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