National Fisherman


Tuesday, March 20, 2012 — Finally, a moment's peace to sit on the longliner and jot down what is happening.

We are anchored up just inside of Salisbury Sound, North of Sitka, Alaska. We are all set to go out tomorrow in the early morning for halibut and blackcod. We loaded up the Discovery with groceries on Wednesday, March 14, then it left Port Townsend without me, because I had to be in attendance at the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association meeting in Anchorage. So I flew up there to make the meeting, then flew down to Sitka to meet the boat on Sunday, March 18.

It's kind of disorientating to just appear on a boat and go fishing; I did help bait up for the past two days, but I have not yet fallen into the rhythm of the boat.

The fish prices are incredible. Halibut ranges from $6 to $6.75 per pound, and dressed blackcod is coming in at what will probably average close to $8 per pound! Just CRAZY! The season opened on Saturday, March 17, and all day yesterday and today there were boats delivering their catch. The weather has been good, so a lot of small boats were out getting the first shot at the fish.

We have a crew change this year. Rich, the owner's 18-year-old son, is with us now. He is working out great, and after his initial learning curve, will be an asset to the crew. Unfortunately Brett, who has been here a couple years longer than I have (and this is my 22nd season on this boat) went crab fishing and didn't get rotated out in time, so he missed out on this trip, and possibly the whole season. I hope he works himself back into the program next year.

So that's all for now — tomorrow we'll find out if the fish are biting!

TO BE CONTINUED…

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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