National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Media reports this week have questioned whether the amount of damage the oil that's gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon will cause has been over-hyped.
Over-hyped? Seriously?

Who can make that kind of proclamation? Nobody, that's who.

Nobody knows precisely how much damage the estimated 92 million gallons released into the Gulf of Mexico will do to the ecosystem. Nor do they know how long whatever damage is inflicted will last.

Nobody knows. Not BP, not the Coast Guard, not NOAA, not the scientists, not the environmentalists, not the fishermen, nobody.

The media doesn't know either. But it's a slave to the demands to feed the ever-ravenous beast that is the 24-hour news cycle. Those demands are why stories such as the spill being over-hyped are generated.

So be it. Just take such reports with the proverbial grain of salt. Where the Deepwater Horizon disaster is concerned, everyone is in uncharted territory. And as much as we all want answers and all damage rectified pronto, such resolution will only occur over time.

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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