National Fisherman's Melissa Wood shares her stories as a writer and editor covering the U.S. fishing industry.
Friday, 15 June 2012
It's great to come to a town in New England where there are actually fishing boats in the water. My own hometown of Portsmouth, N.H., still has a couple boats around, but they are overshadowed by the fleet of sailboats. In New Bedford, Mass., however, the fishing boats still rule the docks.
This week some of the staff members of National Fishermen drove down here from Portland, Maine, to check out the Commercial Marine Expo, which was held yesterday and Wednesday. At the expo, I learned about a very cool organization called the Fishermen's Partnership, which connects fishermen to insurance and some free health care services, conducts free safety training and acts as an all-around advocate for fishermen.
It sounds like such good work and I'll be talking to them again for possibly a follow-up story in the magazine.One thing I'd like to find out is whether there are other organizations like this in other states or if it is unique to Massachusetts. Their website, www.fishingpartnership.org, is still under construction but does have phone numbers for their regional offices.
At the partnership's booth I met Debra Machie, who is a community health navigator and a fisherman's wife. She told me they have a few fishermen's wives working for the partnership, which is a wise move considering that fishermen's wives obviously love fishermen and will work hard to help them out.
Debra's husband is Shawn Machie, captain of the F/V Apollo. He and his crew are going to be on a History Channel show this fall about New England fishermen called Nor'easter Men. At first I was surprised to hear that there's going to be another show about fishing, but at the same time, fishermen's jobs/lives are more interesting than most, so why not?
Here's a view of the docks from yesterday evening:
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.