National Fisherman

It's nice to see an environmental group has Chesapeake Bay watermen's back.

No, that is not a typo.

This week, Environment Maryland Research and Policy released a report that details the impacts of an unhealthy Chesapeake Bay for the area's commercial fishing industry.

"After 25 years of government efforts, the Chesapeake Bay is still dangerously sick, and the bay's watermen are paying the steepest price," said Tommy Landers, policy advocate for Environment Maryland in a press statement. "After decades of voluntary programs, minimal accountability, and lax enforcement of bay protections, it's crystal clear that we need greater accountability and better enforcement of limits on all sources of pollution."

The report, entitled "Watermen Blues: Economic, Cultural and Community Impacts of Poor Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay," includes case studies of watermen and others impacted directly by the lagging commercial fishing industry. It says pollution from wastewater treatment plants, paved surfaces in urban areas, agricultural fertilizers, and farmland runoff fuel the annual proliferation of dead zones that block sunlight from underwater grasses and suck up oxygen needed for marine life.

In 1999, 30 percent of the bay's deep areas met the dissolved oxygen goal of 5 parts per million or more. From 2006 to 2008, only 16 percent of the bay's deep waters met the goal, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

And as fish and shellfish numbers have declined, so have watermen's. Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association, told The (Gaithersburg, Md.) Gazette http://ww2.gazette.net/stories/09182009/polinew200735_32531.shtml , that as recently as six years ago 10,000 people did some form of commercial fishing. Today, Maryland has 5,931 licensed commercial crabbers.

The report recommends placing stronger limits on pollution from agriculture and development plus stepping up efforts to curb pollution from wastewater treatment plants. Doing so could restore the health of Chesapeake Bay and invigorate the region's fishing industry. Kudos to Environment Maryland for recognizing the industry's importance and supporting the region's watermen.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is required by state statute to appoint someone to the Board of Fisheries by today, Tuesday, May 19. However, his efforts to fill the seat have gone unfulfilled since he took office in January. The seven-member board serves as an in-state fishery management council for fisheries in state waters.

The resignation of Walker’s director of Boards and Commissions, Karen Gillis, fanned the flames of controversy late last week.

Read more...

Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, will take over for the outgoing CEO, Harry Demone, who will assume the role as chairman of the board of directors. The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based seafood supplier boasts sales in excess of $310 million (American) for the first quarter of the year.

Read more...
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