National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

lincIn Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.

If the winds of change are as powerful as the ones that blew through Maine last night, fishermen may be able to convince their Congressmen to vote for House and Senate bills aiming to add flexibility to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Here in southern Maine alone, Thursday night's heavy rains and whipping winds led to flooded streets and plenty of downed tree limbs and power lines. The storm, which brought wind gusts topping 60 mph, left some 100,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

The blustery storm followed the more metaphorical winds that began whipping up when the fishermen's rally organized by United We Fish hit Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. We'll have plenty of rally coverage in the May issue of NF we're working on now. And check out the rally photos on our Facebook page.

Not only did the rally draw an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 commercial and recreational fishermen from all over the country, it attracted 20 lawmakers, too.

That indicates there is political support for the House and Senate bills. One reason that support is there may be because the politicians realize jobs are at stake.

Politicians may or may not understand commercial fishing. But they do understand they must keep Americans working.

In a down economy, when political leaders are working to create jobs, it's hard to imagine them backing any policies that would unnecessarily eliminate jobs and harm coastal communities.

Now, the real post-rally work begins. Fishermen must call, e-mail or fax, their Congressmen and Senators and/or meet with them face to face — and make them commit to voting "yes" on the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act.

They should. After all the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act is really a jobs bill. The slogan was true when Bill Clinton first ran for president, and it remains true today:

It's still the economy, stupid.

And Congress shouldn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14

In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.

Inside the Industry

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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