National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

It's hard to assess what's going on with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill because the news seems to change so quickly.

Thursday afternoon we were momentarily buoyed by the news that BP's "top kill" method of plugging the sunken Deepwater Horizon well by slowly pumping in mud was working. Then a couple of hours later, we were hearing reports that maybe it wasn't working so well after all.

It's also difficult just to know how much oil is spewing from the well. One look at the Gulf Leak Meter widget on the NF home page will confirm that. As of Friday, May 28, estimates of the rate that oil is gushing into gulf waters daily range from the U.S. Geological Survey's calculation of 504,000 gallons a day to outside estimates of 1,050,000 gallons — and those aren't even the worst-case-scenario predictions.

BP's worst-case scenario figure is 2.52 million gallons a day. Other experts' worst-case total is 4.2 million gallons each day.

It'd be nice to say on the verge of this holiday weekend that there's a light at the end of the tunnel for the gulf region's fishermen, but even six weeks into this nightmare it's just too early to tell. Plus, NOAA announced this week that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1 is expected to be an "active to extremely active" one.

Let's try not to think about what happens if a hurricane blows through the gulf region and further stirs up waters already befouled by oil from the Deepwater Horizon well.

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

Read more...

Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

Read more...

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