National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission chose to honor the state’s servicemen on Veteran’s Day by implementing changes to commercial licensing requirements that should make it easier for Florida veterans and veterans with disabilities to enter the commercial fishing industry.

According to the FWC, the changes will modify income requirements for Florida veterans seeking a commercial restricted species endorsement. That endorsement allows commercial harvesters to fish for and sell species that are designated as restricted, such as Spanish and king mackerel, flounder, shrimp, mahi mahi and several reef fish. 

The changes waive restricted species endorsement income requirements for one license year for Florida veterans who were honorably discharged between Sept. 11, 2001 and June 30, 2014. After June 30, 2014, the waiver will continue to extend to the state’s veterans, provided they apply within four years of an honorable discharge.

The waiver also extends to honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities, regardless of when they were discharged, the commission says. 

Veterans interested in applying should visit the commission’s website and click on “Commercial Saltwater Products,” or call (850) 487-3122 for more information.

It’s nice to see people working to get people into commercial fishing instead of escorting them out of it. But it’s especially refreshing to see officials lending a hand to our service veterans, who have placed themselves in harm’s way for their country. 

Imagine if we could start similar efforts in all our coastal states. That would be a wonderful way to truly thank our veterans for all they’ve done.

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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Diversified Business Communications