National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

Yesterday I saw something I wasn't sure I'd ever see: A letter to the editor written by a fisherman praising a daily newspaper's coverage of the commercial fishing industry.

But that's exactly what fisherman Russell A. Sherman of the Lady Jane did when he praised the Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times for its coverage of the recent groundfish management battles that have taken place.

The paper deserves the kudos for its news coverage and its editorial stances. It's really made an effort to explore the issue and more importantly tell fishermen's side of the story.

For too long, the mainstream media has largely ignored fishermen in their coverage of ocean related issues. It's quick to run stories asserting that fish stocks are in crisis and happily quote dire predictions made by scientists and environmentalists. But quotes from fishermen are few and far between.

Thus, it's been refreshing to see the Daily Times really explore the fishing side of the argument. Likewise, papers like the Ellsworth (Maine) American, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head, N.C., The World in Coos Bay, Ore., and the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News have done more than give fishermen lip service in their coverage of commercial fishing.

These papers succeed in their coverage because they make sure voices of all stakeholders are represented in their stories, and they understand the communities they serve. And in a coastal community with an historic commercial fishing heritage like Gloucester, it's heartening to see the Gloucester paper serving its constituency so well.

In Sherman's letter, he notes that years ago his civics teacher taught that the cornerstones of democracy are a free and curious press and an independent judiciary. For too long, the mainstream press has lacked curiosity where commercial fishing is concerned. Here's hoping that the press' curiosity about the industry is growing.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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