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.

November 8-9, 2010 — Hours of opening: 4 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday

This would be the last night of gillnetting Puget Sound for me. It was not expected to open the next week in areas 10 and 11 (Seattle area). I had to attend the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association meeting the next week, and Fish Expo, so I would miss any openings, which would probably be only in Everett or Bellingham, Wash., anyway.

The weather was sort of crummy, but bearable. There were a few fish around; I sold more than 100 to my specialty market and brought about 60 back to San Juan Island to sell to my local fish eaters. I fished in my usual and accustomed spot off Alki Point. There wasn't much shipping traffic, so I could leave the net in the water if it drifted into the shipping lanes.

Joining me on this night was Nelson, a 14-year-old kid from San Juan Island, who is interested in fishing in Alaska. Nelson was there mostly to observe, but he did a great job ripping the gills out of the keta salmon, to bleed them, as they came aboard. He hung in there just fine through a steady breeze from the south through the whole opening.

I told Nelson he could crash out any time, which he did by 11:00 p.m. But he was up for the last haul, then he ran the boat back across Elliot Bay toward the locks while I dressed a few fish and cleaned up the deck.


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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