National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



West and East coast fishermen have participated in public workshops on reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act held in Seattle in February and in Boston in March. Now their Southern counterparts can do likewise when the series continues next week in Baton Rouge, La.

southThe Center for Sustainable Fisheries and National Fisherman are sponsoring the workshops. The Tuesday, April 8 session is at the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge, the site of the April Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting. The Magnuson workshop will begin after the council meeting.

The workshops facilitate discussions on revising the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Topics they're exploring include whether the act can be rewritten to strengthen the economic component of fisheries management, to give the management councils more flexibility, and to improve the science used to make management decisions.

Speakers will include Brian Rothschild, the New Bedford-based Center for Sustainable Fisheries' president and CEO, and Bob Gill of the Gulf Seafood Institute's board of directors. Following their remarks, discussion will begin on how best to go about amending Magnuson-Stevens.

The key word there is "discussion" — workshop organizers want your input. They want to learn what's important to you in revising the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

So do I. I'll be representing NF at the Baton Rouge Magnuson-Stevens workshop and I look forward to hearing what issues resonate most with you. For more information about the workshops, please visit

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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