National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Word is that the "static kill" of the Deepwater Horizon well is successful. But that doesn't mean that Gulf Coast states are out of the woods just yet.

You can forgive the region's officials if they continue to scream loud and long about the need to throw all available resources at cleaning up the millions of gallons of oil that have streamed out of the sunken Deepwater Horizon well. They're rightly concerned about what effect the oil will have upon marine life and habitat, and how long any damage will last.

They're also rightly nervous that once the well is capped, resources and personnel being dedicated to cleanup will start to vanish. Here's one reason for concern.

Before the static kill was even completed, BP officials were already making noises last week about scaling back the cleanup effort. But don't you worry, Gulf Coast residents, BP assures us all that they remain committed to making everything right as rain again.

So gulf officials are right to keep the heat on BP and Washington and raise hell to make sure that the cleanup is thorough and that damage to marine life and habitat is kept to a minimum. They haven't forgotten the lack of federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and they don't want the Deepwater Horizon disaster to become the new Katrina.

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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