In Mixed Catch, NF Senior Editor Linc Bedrosian spotlights a wide range of commercial fishing-related news items from coast to coast.
Saturday, 31 December 2011
Welcome aboard, Baby New Year! Look, I know you're not on the job just yet, but if it'll help get you ready for the next 365 days, let me offer you some suggestions that would help U.S. fishermen enjoy your reign.
Let's start with Northeast groundfishermen. Low cod numbers have driven groundfish management for a long time now, Baby New Year, and in the process crippled New England's historic fleet. So anything you can do to get the cod to get busy with the procreating would be greatly appreciated.
While you're at it, encourage our Congressional delegates to approve bills that have been introduced that aim to relax Magnuson-Stevens Act stock rebuilding timelines so that fishermen and regulators alike get a little more breathing room. And maybe get them to require better and more frequent stock assessments, too. More accurate data can only lead to better fisheries management.
How about showing little love for our fishing brethren in the Gulf of Mexico? Over the last six years, they've been plagued by a deluge of seafood imports, hurricanes, floods and a massive oil spill. I don't know how much you do about the imports and oil spills, but if you could chat with Mother Nature and ask her to ease up on the weather-related disasters, it'd be a step in the right direction.
I'm sure West Coast harvesters would be ever so grateful if Pacific salmon and groundfish stocks grow healthier, too. A strong squid season would be nice, and your popularity will soar if you can arrange for a Dungeness crab season that is strike-free and devoid of protracted price negotiations. As for the Alaska fisheries, they're doing well. All you really need to do is stay the course there.
Lastly, plant a seed in the minds of the folks at NOAA to ease back on the throttle where catch share management programs are concerned. Pushing programs that eliminate jobs instead of creating them isn't sound strategy, especially in the presidential election year you're presiding over, Baby New Year.
I could go on, but I don't want to overwhelm you — you're an infant, after all. Allow me to wish you the best of success, Baby New Year, and all U.S. fishermen and their families a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.