National Fisherman


melissaNational Fisherman's Melissa Wood shares her stories as a writer and editor covering the U.S. fishing industry.




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Great Lakes lagging

The 1930s-era Great Lakes fisherman shown here pulling in a wooden basket trap had better fishing days than his 1960s counterparts. Commercial fishing was on the decline, with 1963’s catch the lowest on record at 53.8 million pounds. By comparison, the Great Lakes reported average annual landings of 102.3 million in 1879-1908, 85.3 million in 1914-1928 and 75.9 million from 1929-1963.

“It may be necessary, someday, to set quotas on production of certain species and to limit the number of fishermen,” notes a historical overview of the fishery written in 1963. A botulism scare made things even worse for Great Lakes fishermen. Midwesterners began avoiding fish after seven people died from eating packed smoked whitefish. 

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14

  • OSU study targets commercial fishing injuries
  • Delaware's native mud crab making recovery
  • Alaska salmon catch projected to drop 47 percent
  • West Coast groundfish fishery bill passes
  • Maine's scallop season strongest in years

Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.


The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.


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