National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Big ups to Weight Watchers for extolling the benefits of wild salmon to its weight-conscious membership.

I know this because I am a member of Weight Watcher Nation. I joined in January through a group here at the office, hoping to shed the infuriating number of pounds that have crept on over the years. Unfortunately, tapping away at a computer keyboard each day doesn't quite burn off enough calories to offset the amount of fast food that I was consuming all too often.

Hence, rather than look like a tuxedo-clad Oompa-Loompa when I get married next summer, I decided to start exercising more and eating less. And I figured I'd make better nutritional progress in Weight Watchers than I would if left to my own devices. If the organization is good enough for Charles Barkley, the legendary Round Mound of Rebound, then it's good enough for me.

Hence, every Tuesday, I head to a WW meeting for a weigh-in and communion with the other group members. And in one of the weekly handouts we received this week, we learned why the organization lists wild salmon, but not farmed salmon, as a Power Food.

Power Foods are those that are deemed the most filling, yet have the lowest values in Weight Watchers' points system (everything you eat is given a points value) while having the most positive impact on health.

Weight Watchers gives wild salmon the nod because they get more exercise than the farmed variety. That makes wild salmon much leaner with a higher proportion of protein and less fat. "Thus," the handout says, "wild salmon have lower energy density than their farm-raised cousins."

That's just another arrow in the quiver of the health benefits omega-3-rich wild salmon offers consumers. And I can happily chow down on a tasty source of protein that will help whip me into tuxedo shape.

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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