National Fisherman

Coastlines 

coastlinesJerry Fraser is  publisher of National Fisherman. Melissa Wood is the former assistant editor of National Fisherman.

 

 

They say all fishermen are liars. Maybe. But dishonest people tend to cover their tracks with excuses, and you can't make excuses to the sea. There's a brutal honesty that comes with fishing.

Good writing also demands honesty. Whether it's fiction or nonfiction, readers can tell when a story doesn't ring true. Characters and situations may change, but our experiences are universal, like falling in love or being a teenager.

Some of us would like to forget being a teenager. When I listened to two Fisher Poet presentations at last week's Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, it brought me right back to the completely self-centered teenager I had been and how hard it can be for parents and their teens to understand each other. Teenagers are teenagers whether on land or at sea.

Tele Aadsen, who has recently been in the pages of National Fisherman with her story about finding the survivor of an Alaska fishing boat sinking, talked about being a 13-year-old at the helm of her mother's boat the Willie Lee. As she began, Aadsen made a confession about the girl she had been:

"Time out," she said. "I need to tell you guys exactly what was happening on that boat and who I was at that time. I think some of you are parents? And have some experience with teenagers? And I'm sure that your teenagers are lovely people, and I was not. Take the worst that you can imagine and that's about where we were on this boat."

As you can also imagine, the story goes downhill from there.

Here's a video clip of Aadsen's Expo performance. It's more than 15 minutes so is a good listen for a time when your hands are busy but your mind needs entertainment:

In his presentation, Pat Dixon tells a story from the other side, of being the parent of a 13-year-old.

He remembers getting ready for the season with a teenager who is reluctant to help out. Though teens can be a handful, sometimes things are not as they seem.

"Your face falls, but I haven't noticed. 'I'm not feeling so good,' you answer, and I see your scowl," said Dixon. "I'm in my skipper mentality — what your mother calls, my jerk mode — so I'm quick to assume the worst. I think you don't want to work. After all, I think, you're 13 and though you like making money, you'd rather play video games than help out."

It's just my first wrong assumption of the day," he admits.

Both performances are well worth listening to. You can watch a clip of Dixon as well:

 

Last week was my first chance to see Fisher Poets, but 2013 will mark their 16th official gathering in Astoria, Ore. This year's event takes place Feb. 24 through 26.

You can also catch up with Aadsen and Dixon any time of the year online. Aadsen writes about her adventures on the Nerka on her blog, Hooked, at nerkasalmon.wordpress.com, and Dixon recounts stories from his time fishing in Alaska on Gillnet Dreams at dixonphoto.blogspot.com.

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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.

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Though Alaska is the biggest player in the U.S. seafood industry by far, the small role it plays on a global stage is surprising. The state hauled up 5.5 billion pounds in 2011, but that was only a small fraction of the world’s 100 million metric tons of seafood.

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Next week I'll be going to the Pacific Marine Expo, the commercial industry's largest trade event. It's my first time at PME,which takes place from Nov. 27 to 29 at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle. There's a lot to do at PME so I've been trying to set priorities. In no particular order, here are five things I'm looking forward to at the show:

 

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News is often hit and run. Maybe it's because I'm nosy, but often I'm left wondering what the real story is and what happened to the people after the news cycle ends. That's what I like about writing for a magazine. I can explore issues in-depth. But sometimes there's even more to it — actually, there's always more to the story when you're writing about the U.S. fishing industry. That's where this blog, Coastlines, comes in.

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This morning, the editors of National Fisherman had a photo shoot, if you want to call it that. There was no make-up or hair people or special lighting. Instead of a photo studio we were at the fishing docks, where we made our way around stacks of green and yellow lobster traps, empty but still smelly fish holds, swarms of flies, and my favorite, a pile of freshly unloaded garbage bags to a beautiful background view of Portland Harbor.

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I've got two stories to share that somehow seem appropriate for a Friday afternoon. For the first, sometimes it's good to get a reminder about why certain things are important — even if that reminder is an unpleasant one. National Fisherman's editor Jes Hathaway is a huge advocate for eating wild U.S. fish. Here's a reminder why that U.S.A. label is important:

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His name is a familiar one in the seafood industry, yet Slade Gorton III turned away from the family business to make a name for himself in a distinguished military and political career highlighted by three terms in the U.S. Senate.

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Rivers teeming with spawning salmon like those in Alaska are a distant memory for East Coast fishermen, but it wasn't always this way. For ages, Atlantic salmon's run extended from Canada down to Long Island Sound. In Maine commercial production peaked with catches of 200,000 pounds in the late 1800s and ended soon after, with just 40 fish caught in the Penobscot fishery in 1948. Now Maine is the last place on the U.S. East Coast that salmon can now be found in the wild, and it is scarce.

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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.

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Page 11 of 12

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14

In this episode:

North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup

National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.

 

Inside the Industry

NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

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