National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

Diamonds may just be a Bristol Bay fisherman's best friend.

Well, if not diamonds outright, then the folks who sell them are. According to a story on the National Jeweler Network's Web site, Tiffany and Co., New York's famed Fifth Avenue jeweler, is urging fellow industry members to oppose the proposed Pebble Mine, which would be situated in the Bristol Bay region.

The Pebble Limited Partnership is seeking the state's permission to build a vast copper and gold mine. It says the mine can be developed in an eco-friendly manner. And it would provide lucrative jobs in a region that could use them.

But Bristol Bay salmon fishermen and the conservation group Trout Unlimited oppose the mine's development. They fear its impact upon another rich natural resource — Alaska's highly prized Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

Apparently Tiffany agrees. It hosted a screening of the documentary "Red Gold" in Manhattan on Aug. 19 in an effort to highlight those concerns.

The jewelry company says it's vowed never to source Pebble Mine gold if the mine opens. And it's urging fellow industry operations to do likewise. Thus far, four other companies — Fortunoff, Ben Bridge Jeweler and Helzberg Diamonds, and Chicago-based independent Leber Jeweler — have said they'll oppose the Pebble Mine, too.

It's heartening to see the jewelers taking a stand with fishermen against the project. That kind of solid gold support from people outside the fishing industry is always welcome.

Inside the Industry

It’s no secret that fraud is a problem in the seafood industry. Oceana repeatedly touts a mislabeling epidemic. While their method has been criticized, the perception of rampant fraud  has been established.

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The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

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