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

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.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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