National Fisherman

Diane Wilson is no stranger to National Fisherman. A fourth generation shrimper from Seadrift, Texas, she has always fought for what she believes is right.

Starting in 1989, Wilson made it her mission to stop industrial pollution in the Lavaca-Matagorda-San Antonio Bay ecosystem, a breeding ground for Gulf of Mexico shellfish and finfish. Her efforts were extraordinary — they included several hunger strikes and an attempt to sink her own boat in protest.

She also endured having family members threatened, her dogs killed, her boat being sunk twice, and being picketed by 300 workers.

But her work resulted in two companies changing their wastewater discharge practices. Her efforts on behalf of her industry led us to name her an NF Highliner in 1996.

Fast forward to the present, with Gulf fishermen still reeling from effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The damage it has inflicted upon them, sea creatures, marine habitat and spawning grounds — not to mention coastal communities, seafood-related businesses and markets for the region's seafood — is still being calculated.

The region's fishermen remain angry and frustrated about the spill, subsequent cleanup operations and compensation programs set up to help mitigate their losses. So much so that the Associated Press reported this week that a group of gulf fishermen bought BP stock so that they could travel to London and be allowed to attend the BP shareholders meeting and express their dissatisfaction.

Wilson was among them.

"I am coming to articulate the anger of thousands of Gulf Coast residents whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed while the BP board continues to prosper," Wilson told the AP.

Alas, according to the AP, although a sympathetic BP shareholder gave her a proxy vote, Wilson was locked out of the meeting.

One of the goals of the gulf fishermen attending the meeting was to keep the BP disaster in the media spotlight. Will the media still care once the April 20 anniversary passes?

Maybe they won't. But if they don't, it won't stop gulf fishermen like Diane Wilson from continuing to fight for what they believe is right.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is required by state statute to appoint someone to the Board of Fisheries by today, Tuesday, May 19. However, his efforts to fill the seat have gone unfulfilled since he took office in January. The seven-member board serves as an in-state fishery management council for fisheries in state waters.

The resignation of Walker’s director of Boards and Commissions, Karen Gillis, fanned the flames of controversy late last week.

Read more...

Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, will take over for the outgoing CEO, Harry Demone, who will assume the role as chairman of the board of directors. The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based seafood supplier boasts sales in excess of $310 million (American) for the first quarter of the year.

Read more...
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