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.

Canada's governor general is sending those who'd shutdown Canada's seal hunt into cardiac arrest.

According to a BBC news report, Michaelle Jean, representative of Canada's head of state — none other than England's Queen Elizabeth II — helped to butcher and eat a seal. Jean used a traditional Inuit knife to help gut the animal and then ate a slice of raw heart.

BBC termed Jean's action "an apparent act of solidarity with hunters." Asked if she was sending the European Union a message, Jean was quoted as saying "Take from it what you will."

Canada's seal hunters (whose numbers include Inuit people) have long been under fire from animal welfare activists, who protest the clubbing of seals. Hence, the European Parliament recently voted in favor of a ban on Canadian seal products in protest against the hunting methods. The Inuits would be exempt from the ban, which still must be ratified by EU ministers and isn't likely to take effect until 2010.

On the other side of the coin, Atlantic Canada fishermen, whose cod fishery remains a shell of its former self, say the seal hunt is necessary. The seals, they say, eat plenty of cod, thus impeding the rebuilding of the region's cod stocks.

Regardless of which camp you're in, Jean's action is extraordinary for an appointed government official. It's difficult enough to get officials to support a cause, never mind get them to gut a creature and eat a slice of its heart raw.

That's pretty hard core commitment, wouldn't you say? Especially where political fallout is way more likely to be negative than positive. Whether you love or hate what she did, say this about Michaelle Jean: She isn't faint of heart.

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

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.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

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