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.

December 7-10, 2010 — Fishermen's Terminal net yard, Seattle

Now that the salmon season is over, I get to repair the net that caught the fish. I do this under the lights of the net yard at Fishermen's Terminal so I can work all night long. This year it took three loooooooooong days.

The net was in pretty good shape, other than a rotten piece of 20-year-old-plus web in the middle. We swapped that out with a piece of 150-mesh-deep net I had at my house, of which we added mesh to make it 180 meshes deep like the rest of the net. This turned out to be no small task.

Jack, a longtime member of the Marinkovich fishing circle, helped out, but he simply can't keep my hours. He knocked off around 10 or 11 p.m.; I kept working to 2 or 3 in the morning... hanging, lacing, and patching. I justify my odd hours by relating it to a fishing opening in which I make no money, which does happen.

Fawn John came to help on the third and final day, but we still didn't finish until 10 p.m. As we stood in a downpour, sewing like maniacs, Eric, a former Puget Sound gillnetter from back in the day, pulled up with his wife. He was all jazzed up to buy back into Puget Sound gillnetting. No matter how hard I tried to convince him otherwise, standing exhausted in the dark like a drowned rat, he would not be swayed. He was convinced we were "living the dream!"


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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