National Fisherman's Melissa Wood shares her stories as a writer and editor covering the U.S. fishing industry.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
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 for Dec. 18, 2013
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