National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

The Feb. 24 fishermen's march on Washington, D.C., may not have the impact or garner the attention that the 1963 civil rights march on Washington did. But it's important nonetheless.

Thousands of commercial and recreational fishermen will head to Washington to gather on the steps of the Capitol at noon to protest federal fisheries management actions that they say are crippling the nation's coastal fishing communities. The New Jersey-based Recreational Fishing Alliance is organizing the rally through United We Fish.

Is it a stretch to say that commercial fishermen in this country feel marginalized? That they think NMFS doesn't value their input regarding fisheries management issues? That they believe their industry, which is older than the country itself, is being choked by regulation? Or that they believe the Magnuson-Stevens Act has evolved into a weapon that is used against them?

In an East Hampton (N.Y.) Star Feb. 4 article about the fishermen's march, Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, may have best summed up their feelings. She said she was disturbed about NMFS' recent decision not to renew its contract with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to collect biological samples and landing statistics.

"It seems to crystallize a disconnect that is endemic to NMFS itself, a lack of respect for the fishing communities, and no input or voice by fishermen into a regulatory process that we are governed by daily," Brady said.

The Feb. 24 march would seem an excellent opportunity for fishermen past and present from all over the country to go to Washington and make their discontent known to NMFS, our elected leaders, and the American public, and campaign for meaningful change.

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more ...

The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

Read more ...
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