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.

Tell me, do you miss former NMFS head Bill Hogarth?

I can’t say I was Hogarth’s biggest fan. NMFS was saddled with over 100 lawsuits when Hogarth took office. One of Hogarth’s first missions was to make the lawsuits go away.

And they did — largely at fishermen’s expense. It was hard to shake the feeling that NMFS was managing fisheries so that environmental groups wouldn’t sue the agency. 

Still, Hogarth was visible. He visited fishing ports around the nation and talked with fishermen. He gave keynote speeches at Fish Expo trade shows on both coasts. And he was available to talk to the media about fisheries issues.

Today, NMFS' role isn’t so clear. It's hard to even know what to call the agency anymore — is it NMFS or NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Serivice or NOAA Fisheries?

NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco is the one quoted in the media these days, not NMFS director Eric Schwaab. Lubchenco and NOAA, not NMFS, appear to be driving the U.S. fisheries management train. Neither Lubchenco or Schwaab, for whatever reasons, have been highly visible in the fishing community. 

If there’s a page they should take out of the Bill Hogarth playbook, that would be a good one to grab. Actually visitng with and talking to fishermen would be a good way of promoting communication and fostering greater transparency in NOAA/NMFS operations.

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

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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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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