National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Today's New England Fishery Management Council meeting is an excellent reminder that management changes to protect our nation's fish stocks come with a human cost.

That's something that doesn't always come across in media coverage of the move to sector management in the New England groundfish fishery. Numerous fishermen will be damaged by that change.

This morning, the council began working to finalize Amendment 16 and bring sector management to the groundfish fishery. And as the council and fishermen wrestled with how best to allocate fish to each sector, it was never clearer that there is no way to do so without some fishermen getting substantially hurt in the process.

They aren't just taking a pay cut. Fishermen who have spent their whole lives catching fish — and made substantial financial investments to keep doing so — will be finished.

Fishermen's opinions (and those of council members) differed on the critical issue of what baseline should be used to allocate fish to sectors. But everybody was finding that trying to come up with a way to do so that would be fair to everyone was an impossible task.

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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