National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

Last month, I wrote about “The Watermen,” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1715223/ a horror film being shot in Virginia in which a clan of commercial fishermen captures a crew of sport fishermen; trapped on an island, the anglers must fight for their lives.
Well, with Halloween little more than a week away, it seems only fitting to write about another horror movie being filmed that has a commercial fishing background. But it’s a horror movie of a different sort — one that’s all too real to New England fishermen.



In New Bedford, Mass., Dartmouth native Jay Burke is shooting the appropriately named low-budget film “Whaling City”. It’s described on the movie's website http://whalingcityfilm.com/ as “a dramatic narrative feature film set in New Bedford, Mass., in the rapidly changing world of the modern fishing industry.”



It’s a project that’s been a decade in the making. The screenplay was workshopped at Columbia University's graduate film program from 1999 to 2002. It won the 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award and the 2007 Sloan Feature Film Production Grant.



According to the website, “Whaling City” is “the story of a third-generation independent commercial fisherman, struggling to keep a grasp on his way of life — and a long-held family boat — as costs rise and the heavily regulated fishing industry is pushed towards a corporate model of efficiency. While developing an unlikely relationship with a marine biologist, he is tempted to do whatever it takes to keep his boat.”



Wait — there’s a romance between a fisherman and a government fisheries scientist? I don’t think marine scientists are feeling a lot of love from commercial fishermen these days, but stranger things have happened.



But more importantly, the approximately 100-minute-long film, which is in production this fall, is attempting to tell the story of what’s happening to commercial fishing in New England, and why the average American should care. You can have your ghosts, goblins, vampires, witches and werewolves. The scariest thing I can think of is an honorable and historic 400-year-old industry vanishing before our very eyes.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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