National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



A long, hard winter like the one just past will wear on you. Therefore, you appreciate a story that puts a smile on your face and helps you recharge your batteries. Such is the case with Sierra Golden's feature story on the 17th annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria, Ore., which you'll find in our May issue.

Her story, which begins on page 24, takes a look at the event, how it began and how it's grown through the years. The inaugural FisherPoets Gathering, held at the Wet Dog Café, featured 39 performers and attracted 200 spectators. This year the event featured nearly 80 performers from 14 states and nearly 1,000 fans attended the festivities at six different venues. But the story's overall focus is right where it should be — on the performers, old and new.

For example, there's perennial favorite Dave Densmore. Now retired, Densmore started fishing when he was 12 and has spent most of his life fishing all over the West Coast. Through his poems, Densmore aims to educate the general public about who fishermen really are and what they experience at sea. Here's a sample of one of Densmore's performances at the 2014 FisherPoets Gathering.


This year for the first time, the event featured its first all-female Story Circle. Golden introduces us to a few of the female FisherPoets, including Meezie Hermansen, a Cook Inlet East Side setnetter, and Erin Fristad, long a FisherPoets performer who fished for 15 years for herring in the Togiak, Alaska fishery, crab in the Columbia River and Alaska salmon.

Add Golden to the list FisherPoet Gathering performers, too. Golden, who seines in Southeast Alaska, received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. The winner of the program's 2012 Academy of American Poets Prize, her work appears widely in literary journals.

You can find performances by Golden, Densmore, Fristad and many other FisherPoets at the IntheTote website. That's where I found this interesting video on FisherPoet performer Tele Aadsen, a fisherman/writer, whose blog "Hooked" is among those we feature on the Blogroll.

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