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.

April 2, 2011 — After a quick turnaround in Sitka, Alaska, we headed back out to clean up our Southeast blackcod on Saturday, March 26. We caught our fish on Sunday in four strings, still with unbelievably nice weather, then ran in and delivered first thing Monday morning. We were looking to head across the gulf while the weather was good, so we blew out of Sitka on Monday afternoon, March 28.

Sticking with this season's theme, the weather was beautiful heading across, and we reached the Seward Gulley in just over 48 hours. We set two strings on the halibut ground on Wednesday evening, March 30.

Halibut fishing was SLOW and the fish were SMALL, so we blew off that idea and set in deeper water for blackcod. That proved to be even more of a scratch, but we ground it out for two solid days, then spooled our gear aboard and headed for Seward on the evening of Saturday, April 2.

The reason fishing was so slow was because the WHALES were eating our fish! They picked them right off the line as we are hauling it back; and they preferred the big ones. They really hammered us on the last day because the boat that was fishing near us went in, so the whales converged on us for dinner.

We finally got a bit of weather on the last day — SW 25 to 30 knots. Fortunately for us we were just hauling back and then we had it on the stern quarter running in. Still lucky with the weather!


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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