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.

We honored the 2010 NF Highliners last week at a dinner in New Bedford, Mass. They’re a special bunch of fishermen.

They don’t seek the limelight, but they never hesitate to take a stand on what they feel is right, either. Thursday's House subcommittee hearing, part of the investigation into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, served as a reminder of that on a couple of fronts.

On one hand was BP CEO Tony Hayward, testifying before a frustrated bunch of lawmakers. Sounds like Hayward’s testimony consisted largely of the following:

“I don’t know.”

“I don’t recall.”

“I can’t remember.”

“I wasn’t involved in the decision making process.”

Gee, thank you for clearing things up, Mr. Hayward.

Not that you really expected to hear anything different. Hayward’s testimony came off as stereotypical corporate cover-your-posterior behavior, where profit margins take precedence over everything else, people or governments be damned. You hear a lot of talk about risk and reward analysis, but the word “responsibility” never seems to crop up.

By contrast, we have NF Highliner Diane Wilson, a fourth generation Seadrift, Texas, shrimper. We named Wilson a Highliner in 1996; to say she’s committed to protecting the marine ecosystem is an understatement.

Would you believe so strongly in fighting for what’s right that you would try to sink your boat in protest? Would you go on hunger strikes? Wilson did. Would you keep fighting even after your boat was sunk twice? Wilson did.

It wasn’t a popular stand — precious land-based jobs were also at stake, and Wilson was picketed by 300 workers. But she waged a decade-long one-woman war to stop illegal wastewater discharge by chemical companies and others into the Lavaca-Matagorda-San Antonio Bay ecosystem, a breeding ground for much of the Gulf of Mexico’s fish, shrimp and oyster populations — and won. She did what she thought was right.

She still does. According to a USA Today story, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-06-17-oil-hearing_N.htm Wilson attended the subcommittee hearing, interrupting Hayward as he uttered his first words by shouting, “You should be charged with a crime, Tony,” before being shown the door.

Once a Highliner, always a Highliner.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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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.

Read more...

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