National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Coming soon (well, late January 2011) to a movie theater or video store near you: a horror flick involving commercial fishermen.

"The Watermen," is the debut film of Newport News, Va. filmmaker Matt L. Lockhart, who wrote and directed this epic tale. In it, according to the Internet Movie Database, a clan of watermen captures a crew of sport fishermen.

The watermen take the anglers hostage and even cut some of them up for bait. In other words, the chums are turned into chum.
At any rate, trapped on an island, they must then fight for their lives. According to an article about the film in the Daily Press in Newport News, seafood wholesaler Bill Forrest, of Bill Forrest Seafood in Poquoson, Va. — used as the watermen's hideout in the film — doubts that real Virginia watermen will take the film or the way they're portrayed in it seriously enough to be offended.

Alas, no further plot information is revealed, so I'm going have to wait along with you folks to find out how the "evil watermen" are foiled. I'll make what I suspect is a pretty good guess:

Federal and state fisheries management agencies will regulate them to death.

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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