National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



In merry olde England, word is that members of parliament are worried that coastal fishing communities are in peril because fishing quotas have become stock market commodities.

Their concern is expressed in a select committee report that criticizes government over the controversial European Union quota allocation system. The committee is troubled that traders who have no fishing industry connection have infiltrated the market for buying and selling fishing quotas.

The committee was further alarmed to learn that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs isn't monitoring who holds fishing quotas in England.

"This means that we don't know how much fishing quota may be held by 'slipper skippers' or organizations who have little or no connection to the fishing industry and who merely trade it as a commodity," committee chairwoman Anne McIntosh told The (Plymouth) Herald.

Added Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St. Ives, "The risk of fishing quotas being held by stockbrokers or Tesco or Birdseye is that fishermen are effectively dependent on conglomerates."

The committee recommends that only working fishermen should hold allocations and that ministers develop a register to monitor who holds quotas.

Quite the sticky wicket for our British fishing brethren, isn't it? Thank goodness that even as NOAA continues its push to bring catch share management to U.S. fisheries, American fishermen don't have to worry about outsiders buying up quota strictly for investment purposes! Right?

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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Diversified Business Communications