Written by Melissa Wood
November 29, 2012
Lori French’s crusade began when she saw a children’s book in her son’s first grade classroom about a whale that gets caught in a “bad” fisherman’s net.
That was the spark that lit the fire. As a fisherman’s wife, French decided to tell everyone she can about the good work of U.S. fishermen. She’s done everything from starting Faces of California Fishing to wearing a crazy crab tutu when she walks half marathons to accosting people at the seafood counter in the grocery store.
At her presentation of Pacific Marine Expo on Wednesday, she told other fishing families they could do it too.
“Take pictures of your business, take pictures of your boat, make a display and take it to your local library,” she said (the photo in the newsletter is of French in her Expo booth where she displayed many of her own photos of local fishermen).
She was joined onstage by fishermen’s wives and bloggers Jen Karuza Schile and Robin Blue.
Coincidentally, all three have a connection to National Fisherman magazine. French has contributed to our Dock Talk column several times with tales about "Crabdaddy" and Zed Blue's boat The Robin Blue was featured in our September issue.
Schile's three children can actually thank National Fisherman for their existence. Schile is a former writer for the magazine and met her husband, George, after our Boats & Gear editor Michael Crowley sent her on a boatyard assignment.
Schile, who keeps writing at the blog Highliners & Homecomings, just published an e-book Captain of Her Crew with tips for other commercial fishing moms.
“A big thing I’ve always tried to do is what my parents did for me, which was involve me. Take the kids to the harbor, let them eat lunch with dad, give them a job, let them ride the forklift. Don’t just let dad walk out the door and you never see him again,” she said.
Blue said she didn't know much about blogging when she began writing, The Fishing Blues, but she doing it has helped her cope with having her husband, Zed, is away fishing. But while it began as something almost therepeutic the blog has also become a venue for educating the general public about seafood through recipes and simple cooking tips.
Blue said her writing has helped her connect with other fishing families.
“It’s nice to have friends who are in the same boat, so to speak,” she said.
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