National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



As Fourth of July weekend approaches, what is more American than residents of a town reaching out to help a Louisiana fishing community that is suffering from the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

In Maine, a Bangor Daily News editorial this week relates the story of Down-East fishermen who found a way to help their Gulf Coast brethren, free of corporate or bureaucratic red tape.

Little Cranbury Island lobstermen organized a fundraising community dinner featuring local seafood donated for the dinner and an accompanying raffle. A true community effort, island residents turned out in full and raised $1,915.

Next, they got to work to determine how and where to send the money. A little Internet research led them to the fishing community of Dulac, La., which is about the size of the Little Cranbury Island community of Isleford. Isleford's postmaster then contacted Dulac's postmaster to inquire where to send the money.

The answer was to send the funds to the Dulac Community Center, a mission project of the United Methodist Church, which provides help to the area. And that's just what they did.

According to the editorial, the Isleford residents hope that other Maine communities will follow suit. We do, too. In fact, let's widen the effort.

There are fishing communities on all coasts that have the same kind of heart Isleford does. If such a movement catches on in fishing communities, then it can catch on in more landlocked towns, too.

And if enough towns follow Isleford's lead, then Gulf Coast fishing communities could receive some sorely needed assistance — not to mention a little love.

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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