National Fisherman

National Fisherman - August 2007


Northeast Groundfish

Likelihood of even fewer days at sea spurs call for management by regions

Even in a fishery where bad news has long been the norm, Maine's surviving groundfish crews and dealers are dreading the outcome of this summer's New England Fishery Management Council deliberations. Some say the potential for still more days-at-sea reductions, up to a one-third loss over the next two years, may push the last boats out of Maine.

"Vessel attrition to Massachusetts increased three- or fourfold from 2004 to 2005," says Hank Soule, the Portland Fish Exchange's general manager. "We've lost most of our big boats. Five years ago, we handled [fish from] around 250 boats. There are a little fewer than 100 today."


A tuna fisherman's life

If selling your product on the New York market for 2 cents a pound is giving it away, what do you call it when you're told you just spent 5 cents a pound trucking it there?

You call it fishing, and on the East Coast, that was the bluefin tuna fishery through the 1960s and into the 1970s.


Sealed in

Pack ice strands harp seal fleet off Newfoundland

By Alison Dyer

After days of blasting northeasterlies over the region, followed by some weak southwesterlies, the night of May 1 was still. A fog settled down over the compacted Arctic ice field. Skipper Dean Patey, his brother Dave and remaining crewman Sheldon Richards were settling in for another uneasy night aboard Patey's Venture, a 35-foot boat stuck in the North Atlantic's icy grip.


Properly installed heaters keep you warm, dry and safe

Based on U.S. Coast Guard reports

A skipper and two crewmen were groundfishing off of Massachusetts, on a 24-year-old wooden plank-on-frame boat with a fiberglass reinforced plastic outer hull. The skipper and his crew were making day trips to a fishing area five to 10 miles offshore.



Dory schooner gets $3m rebuild;
 wooden lobster boat may race

America — unlike countries such as England, Norway and France — has a miserable record when it comes to preserving the historical craft used in its fisheries. You can't bring back what has been lost, but you can preserve what you still have.


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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