National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

lincIn Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.

Gas prices are creeping north towards the $4 a gallon mark again, aren't they?
Here in Portland, Maine, gas prices are ranging from $3.45 to $3.59. West Coast motorists are likely envious.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data of weekly U.S. retail gas prices, regular grade, they fork over $3.857. Californians alone are shelling out $3.966.

The national average as of March 21 is $3.562, an increase of 0.743 cents from a year ago. Yikes!

Remember when gas prices started skyrocketing like this a few years ago? Everyone was outraged, weren't they? Consumers and politicians were breaking out the pitchforks, ready to lynch the oil barons.

Then the economy tanked. And shortly thereafter, gas prices slid back to more consumer-friendly levels.

But now they're rising again. So where's the outrage this time? Did we just get "accustomed" to paying more last time around?

Fishermen, already dealing with shrinking profit margins, can't afford to just shrug off rising fuel prices. As of March 21, EIA data shows the national diesel fuel average price is $3.907 a gallon, up 0.961 cents from a year ago.

Well, New York State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) is sponsoring a bill the state Senate passed this week that could help Empire State fishermen save on their fuel bills. A companion bill sponsored in the State Assembly by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) is now before the Assembly's environmental conservation committee.

"This bill allows fishermen to conserve fuel," LaValle said in a press statement, "since they would be allowed to aggregate their daily catch limits over a seven day period."

According to LaValle, the bill would sunset on Jan. 1, 2013 when the success of the bill's approach could be fully evaluated and the necessity of an extension determined. Let's see if other coastal states follow New York's lead in finding ways to help them cut their fuel bills.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
Read more...
EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
Read more...
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