National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



If it's fall, it must be waterfront festival time.

Just take a look at our calendar list of industry-related events. In September alone, such festivals were held in Los Angeles, Astoria, Ore., Hatteras Village, N.C., New Bedford, Mass., and Seattle. In these and other ports all over the country, dockside festivals celebrate a region's working waterfronts.

"The thing it's really geared toward is being a very family friendly day. It's not expensive; the salmon barbecue, the other food we offer, it's just a tremendous value," says Steve Funk, president of the Fishermen's Terminal Tenant's Association, which coordinates the Seattle Fishermen's Fall Festival each year.

Funk, the regional manager for Anthony's Restaurants, has been involved with the festival for all of its 22 years. He says the festival is an inexpensive way for families to have fun and get to know their local fishing industry.

For example, the Seattle festival offers children an opportunity to build their own foot-long fishing boats. "We had 1,200 wooden boat hulls that John Bruce makes every year. The kids add sails, corks, nails, and decorate these little 12-inch boats," Funk says. "We had 60 linear feet of tables with hammers and glue guns going all day.

"To be here as long as I have, to see families building wooden boats and hearing young 32-year-old parents telling their kids how they built wooden boats, it becomes multi-generational," Funk adds. "It's really fun."

The food, music, salmon filleting, oyster shuck and shoot, lutefisk eating and survival suit race contests the fair offers are all part of a larger mission. Waterfront festivals are valued as a way to raise the fishing industry's profile within a community and educate local residents about commercial fishing.

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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