National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Northeast groundfishermen have finally gotten something they've wanted for a long time — national media exposure highlighting the controversy surrounding NOAA enforcement practices.

Wednesday night, the "CBS Evening News" broadcast a story examining NOAA's aggressive fisheries enforcement practices in the northeast. The story ran 3 minutes and 51 seconds; that's a lifetime in a television newscast.

Reporter Armen Keteyian did a good job of outlining the enforcement problems and letting fishermen illustrate the disastrous effects the enforcement practices have had upon Northeast fishermen. If you haven't seen the story yet, you can watch it on the CBS News website.

So a network TV news organization has broadcast the story; now what? Will network TV exposure be enough to turn a white-hot spotlight on NOAA?

CBS broadcasting the story is a big deal, but in and of itself, the broadcast won't remedy the situation. However, the story can be a valuable tool in educating the mainstream media, general public and Congress about the situation.

Every member of Congress needs to see this story, which means you  — yes, you — need to send them the link so that they can view it for themselves. Post it on YouTube, share it on Facebook and other social media platforms. The more the story spreads, the more a groundswell of public opinion will form that federal fisheries policies must change.

Getting the support of the public and Congress will be key to having any changes made. The proverbial snowball is starting to roll downhill. Now it's time to help it gather some serious speed.

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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