National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Finding answers to a problem that's as massive as the sunken and still-gushing Deepwater Horizon oil well isn't easy. But while "experts" are still trying to get a handle on the historic spill, one celebrity is taking action to help Gulf of Mexico fishermen.

In Alabama, fishermen gathered at the Mobile Civic Center for a meeting organized by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium where bureaucrats from a variety of government agencies were on hand to help provide answers about the oil spill to a group of folks, including fishermen, hungry for them.

But according to a Washington Post story, expectations were quickly lowered when moderator Ann Weaver of NOAA told the audience, "Please respect our experts when they tell you they don't know the answers to your questions."

Ugh. Great. You go to a meeting seeking answers only to realize you're probably not going to get any. OK, to be fair, there are no easy answers that can be given for a spill of this magnitude. But man, at least provide some snacks.

On the other hand, one person is at least attempting to take the bull by the horns to help fishermen affected by the spill. And that person is one John Tesh.

You read that right. Radio program host John Tesh has announced a plan to help Gulf of Mexico fishermen.

Tesh's radio program is launching a humanitarian effort called "Adopt a Fisherman" that will be centered in Venice, La. The plan is to meet with local officials and fishermen to determine what their greatest needs are, and then provide assistance such as funds, clothing and medical care.

Several website links have been set up where people can donate to the effort, including: or According to a press release announcing the plan, 100 percent of all donations will go directly to fishermen and their families via the SelleccaTesh Foundation. Kudos to Tesh and his wife, Connie Sellecca, for taking action to help gulf region fishermen when so many people seem paralyzed about what to do.

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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